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Hypoxic brain injury at birth is often avoidable

Many people in the Tampa area probably know that serious brain injuries can leave a person with life-long medical complications.

A moderate to severe brain injury can leave a person with serious emotional and cognitive problems that can keep the person out of the workforce and unable to live what people would see as a normal life.

In the most serious cases, brain injuries can leave a person in a persistent vegetative state and in need of constant medical care. Death can also be the end result of a brain injury.

Oxygen deprivation can cause severe brain damage

Many people may think of brain injuries as involving blows to the head. However, a persistent lack of oxygen will also damage the brain after just a few minutes.

A so-called hypoxic brain injury can happen for a number of reasons. For example, a near-drowning victim may suffer hypoxic brain injury.

Sometimes, natural medical causes, like a stroke, asthma, or a heart attack, can cause a brain injury, although doctors may aggravate the problem by misdiagnosing or failing the properly treat such conditions.

Medical mistakes during childbirth can lead to hypoxic brain injury

During the birth process, the infant is at risk of hypoxic brain injury for a number of reasons. Even a difficult or delayed birth can mean that the baby does not get enough oxygen during those last minutes or hours in its mother’s body.

Likewise, actual medical complications, like umbilical cord prolapse or the separation of the mother’s placenta from the uterine wall, can lead to oxygen deprivation and a brain injury to the newborn.

When this happens, the child and its parents will likely have the burden of large medical bills as well the cost of ongoing care for the child. Moreover, the child and the family miss out on a lot of important opportunities which the injury may make unreachable.

Doctors who care for women in childbirth have an obligation to spot signs that a child is suffering from oxygen deprivation and to take immediate action. When they fail to do so, the family may seek compensation.