Anoxic brain injuries are a common brain injury that usually results from a failure of the medical team to promptly deliver a child who is suffering from birth complications. This may be due to umbilical cord strangulation, placental detachment, or a variety of other problems, including trauma from improper use of delivery tools such as forceps.
When anoxia is suspected, the labor and delivery team must move quickly to minimize the long-term damage. Brain cells begin to die quickly, within a few minutes, and permanent damage to the child can occur in a shockingly small window of time. Prompt diagnosis and treatment is key.
Unfortunately, many labor and delivery teams rely on warning signals from equipment that may not be sufficiently prompt to allow to proper intervention. If the machine does not begin beeping to indicate fetal distress quickly enough, or if the nurse waits a few moments too many to respond, the fallout can be significant.
But even when prompt diagnosis does occur, acute treatment of anoxia is often lacking. Acute treatment may include:
- Restoring proper heart function, especially if the heart has stopped or the heartbeat has slowed dramatically
- Using a ventilator
- Supplementing oxygen to try to quickly oxygenate the blood
- Ensuring proper blood pressure
Physicians and labor and delivery nurses are well aware of these methods, as are neo-natal intensive care squads. Despite most medical professionals having dealt with multiple stressful deliveries, and despite most of these professionals having seen the damage done by failing to act quickly enough, too many children are receiving delayed or inadequate treatment.
These methods are not always successful in preventing long-term health problems, but they are likely to minimize them as much as possible. If your child suffered an anoxic birth injury, and you believe that the medical team did not intervene quickly enough, please consult with an experienced attorney.