Birth Asphyxia Lawyer New York
Birth asphyxia is one of a number of tragic birth injuries that can occur during childbirth.
Birth asphyxia can cause long-term damage to your child’s brain, resulting in seizure disorders, developmental delays and learning disabilities if not properly recognized and treated.
Though there is no cure for many conditions that result from severe birth asphyxia, a birth asphyxia lawyer can help you get financial compensation for your child’s injuries.
If your child’s birth asphyxia was caused by the negligence of a medical professional or hospital, you may be entitled to compensation for all the present and future expenses the injury will cost you.
To learn more, contact the expert birth injury law team at Merson Law PLLC.
If your child suffered Birth Asphyxia and it was caused by the negligence of a medical professional or hospital, you may be entitled to compensation for all the present and future expenses the injury will cost you. To learn more, contact the expert birth injury law team at Merson Law PLLC.
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What is Birth Asphyxia?
Asphyxia, more commonly known as “suffocation” is a condition arising when the body is deprived of oxygen. Asphyxia can cause unconsciousness or death.
If you’ve ever choked on a piece of food or taken a Jiu Jitsu class, you’re probably familiar with what asphyxiation feels like, and it’s certainly not pleasant.
In short increments, suffocation does not cause harm to the body – you’ve probably tried to see how long you can hold your breath. Even though most of us can’t hold our breath for very long, the body is capable of surviving several minutes without oxygen without any repercussions.
After five minutes or so, serious damage can begin to occur.
As in adults, asphyxiation can cause serious harm to an infant during childbirth. When this occurs, the brain and other organs do not get enough oxygen and nutrients. Without oxygen, the brain cannot function properly, and without proper blood flow, waste products (acids that are normally expelled) build up in cells and cause damage.
This can happen without anyone knowing.
The Stages of Birth Asphyxia
Two stages of injury can happen with birth asphyxia:
The first stage happens within minutes if blood flow is low and cells do not get enough oxygen. This stage is where the asphyxiation actually occurs.
The second stage is called “reperfusion injury.”
This stage can last for days or even weeks. This injury happens after the brain starts getting normal levels of blood and oxygen. Toxins released from the damaged cells cause this injury.
How Dangerous is Birth Asphyxia?
Birth asphyxia is a broad term, so the severity of the condition varies significantly.
Many babies suffer from birth asphyxia briefly, and a trained OB/GYN can recognize the issue and treat it promptly. If this were to be the case with your child, it is unlikely any damage would occur.
If your child were to suffocate for a longer duration of time, they could suffer from short-term, long-term, or even permanent brain damage.
The amount of harm depends on a variety of factors:
- How long your baby does not get enough oxygen
- How low the level of oxygen is
- How quickly the right treatment is given
- In many cases of birth asphyxia, quick assessment and action by your doctor can be the difference between an easy recovery for your child and a lifetime of incurable conditions.
It is for this reason that OB/GYNs are trained to understand the signs of birth asphyxia and treat them. If your doctor did not act in a reasonable manner while your child suffered from birth asphyxia, you may be entitled to financial compensation for their negligence.
Causes of Birth Asphyxia
There are many different reasons why a child may suffer from birth asphyxia.
A common cause is the umbilical cord. During childbirth, the umbilical cord can become wrapped around your child’s neck, causing suffocation. This is a fairly common occurrence, and OBGYNs are trained to be able to recognize, prevent, and treat this occurrence.
Other causes of birth asphyxia are not as obvious to the untrained eye. Sometimes, birth asphyxia is not caused by a physical occurrence, but rather some biological reason for oxygen deprivation.
Common causes of birth asphyxia include:
- Too little oxygen in the mother’s blood before or during birth
- Problems with the placenta separating from the womb too soon
- Very long or difficult delivery
- A serious infection in the mother or baby
- High or low blood pressure in the mother
- Baby’s airway is not formed properly
- Baby’s airway is blocked
- Baby’s blood cells cannot carry enough oxygen (anemia)
Signs & Symptoms of Birth Asphyxia
Symptoms of birth asphyxia may include:
- Very weak breathing or not breathing at all
- Skin color that is bluish, gray, or lighter than normal
- Low heart rate
- Poor muscle tone
- Weak reflexes
- Too much acid in the blood (acidosis)
- Amniotic fluid stained with meconium (first stool)
Treatments for Birth Asphyxia
If your baby has mild asphyxia at birth, they are supposed to get breathing support until they can breathe well enough on their own. A doctor will monitor them to watch for signs of complications or serious injury.
If your baby has severe birth asphyxia at birth, they may need more serious treatments, including:
- Breathing support from a machine that sends small, rapid puffs of air into your child’s lungs. Some babies may need nitric oxide through a breathing tube or a heart-lung pump for life support.
- Body cooling (hypothermia)
- Medicine to control blood pressure
- Kidney support with dialysis
- Medicine to treat seizures
- Intravenous (IV) nutrition to give their bowels time to recover
What Can New York Families Recover in a Birth Asphyxia Lawsuit?
In a birth asphyxia lawsuit, families can seek compensation for many damages. These damages can include current and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of wages, and much more, like:
- Physical therapy
- Speech coaching
- Recreational therapy
- Corrective surgery
- Occupational therapy
- Braces and orthotics (for walking and stability)
- Equipment like wheelchairs, rolling walkers, canes, verbal aids, etc.
How can a Birth Asphyxia Lawyer Help?
A birth asphyxia lawyer can help you and your family pursue compensation for these damages.
Though you may be an expert parent, you’re not an expert attorney, and the organization or individual you take to court will have lawyers hired to defend them.
Sometimes, these lawyers will reject your claim altogether. Other times, they may offer you an amount of compensation that is significantly lower than the amount you need to pay for your child’s expenses.
Without legal representation, it’s nearly impossible for an individual to win a birth injury case. That’s why you need an experienced birth asphyxia lawyer to argue on your behalf against your opposition.
The lawyers at Merson Law PLLC have decades of experience litigating cases like your’s, many of which have settled for millions of dollars.
Our team will work with you to get the compensation you need to build the best life for your child, and we’ll do it without hourly rates.
To start your claim, contact us by filling out our confidential form or by calling our Manhattan office. Get started with your birth injury lawsuit today.