If an infant or fetus experiences oxygen deprivation in the womb or during delivery it can be devastating and even deadly. Serious issues like irreparable organ and brain damage, and death. It can bring on medical conditions such as cerebral palsy, hypoxic ischemic, retardation, epilepsy, and encephalopathy. In the U.S. roughly 27 out of every 1000 new born infants have a serious birth trauma brought about by malpractice. Those suffering from oxygen deficiency often display the most harrowing medical developments.
There are several ways an infant may be deprived of oxygen. There may be complications with the umbilical cord, a cesarean section delayed too long, shoulder dystocia, uterine rupture or breech delivery can all cause an issue with oxygen delivery to the infant. Approximately 20% of all infants who suffer some form of oxygen deprivation die before they are more than a few weeks old. Those surviving infants display permanent issues such as mental retardation, learning disabilities, cerebral palsy and epilepsy.
Smoking while pregnant can also cause a deprivation of oxygen to the infant. Nicotine and carbon monoxide carry throughout the mother’s body and into the infant’s bloodstream causing a deprivation of oxygen to the infant as well as the mother. Second hand smoke can be just as dangerous. While smoke coming off a burning cigarette is much more dangerous than that exhaled from a smoker, both can be devastating to an unborn child as well as the mother.
Some researchers claim their finding show oxygen deprivation can be due to a genetic anomaly but more studies are required to prove it conclusively. No matter the cause of oxygen deprivation or deficiency, medical professionals are trained to detect and treat the issue before the birth of the child. If they fail, or are the cause of the problem, medical malpractice has occurred.