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Did Your Newborn Suffer Cerebral
Palsy or Another Brain Injury Before
or During Labor and Delivery?

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Our Birth Brain Injury Resource Guide

the guide

Get a FREE guide of resources available throughout Ohio to children and families of children who were born with brain injuries.

Our guide can help you build a foundation of knowledge and tools that will help you help your child
now and in the future.

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Medical research performed by several health care providers, as well as the federal government, place the number of United States citizens suffering some form of brain damage at around one million. The vast majority of victims are infants that experience head trauma at some point in the nine months of a mother’s pregnancy. Most of the cases of infant brain damage occur during birth delivery because an infant endures prolonged deprivation of oxygen.

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Expectant mothers must understand the health care implications of infant o2deprivation since the medical condition requires costly treatment that exceeds hundreds of millions of dollars per year in the United States.

An Overview of Asphyxia

According to the American Journal of Neuroradiology, the incidence of infant brain damage caused by a lack of o2 is between 2 and 10 cases for every 1,000 newborns. Referred to as infant asphyxia, thislife-threatening medical condition falls within two categories called anoxia and hypoxia. Anoxia is the more severe case of oxygen deprivation, and in most cases, the medical condition causes irreparable severe brain damage. Hypoxia represents the milder case of oxygen deprivation that causes at theworst moderate damage to an infant’s brain. However, both hypoxia and anoxia can cause some form of cerebral palsy and several other mental disorders that require lifelong management.

Causes of Anoxia and Hypoxia

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The severity of brain trauma caused by oxygen deprivation varies depending on the amount of time an infant experiences one of the causes that induce hypoxia or anoxia.

Birth Delivery Issues

Protracted labors often cause theinfant to become stuck in the birth canal. Medical conditions such as shoulder dystocia, which occurs when an infant’s shoulder lodges in the birth canal, can lead to o2 deprivation that eventually starves the brain. Birth canal issues require quick intervention to prevent severe brain damage, as well as associated long-term injuries to the arm and shoulder.

Umbilical Cord

During birth delivery, the umbilical cord can knot or twist around a baby to deprive the infant’s body of oxygen at the most critical time of labor. The twisting and knotting of the umbilical cord is especially dangerous when it occurs around an infant’s neck. In some birth delivery cases, physicians sever the umbilical cord before an infant can generate an o2 supply to support brain activity.

Uterus and Placental Separation

Timing is everything during birth delivery, which is especially true for when the uterus and placental separate. If the separation happens too quickly, an infant does not receive the amount of oxygen needed to create a healthy brain.

Obstructed Airways

The creation of mucous in the lungs can obstruct one or more of an infant’s airways during birth delivery. The result is a reduction of oxygen delivered to vital organs, which includes the brain.

Several factors can cause infant asphyxia, including medical malpractice. Mistakes made by physicians during birth delivery can lead to lifetime medical costs that run nearly one million dollars. Many medical malpractice lawsuits that cover infant oxygen deprivation recover most, if not all of the money spent to treat brain damage. Mothers should receive regularly scheduled prenatal examinations to detect any medical conditions that can lead to the birth delivery issues that cause brain damage in babies due to lack of oxygen.