Perinatal hypoxia and anoxia

Medical Information Provided By: Dr. Krista Kurtyan, M.D.
Legal Information Provided By: Hartley Hampton, J.D. and Christopher King, J.D.

The Difference Between Hypoxia & Anoxia

If a baby is born with a low presence of oxygen, this is called hypoxia. If there is no oxygen, this is called anoxia. Unfortunately, these are both serious conditions that can affect the infant’s brain. These conditions are common in childbirth and it is important for the medical professionals to be aware of the causes of anoxia and hypoxia. At Hampton & King, our Houston perinatal hypoxia and anoxia attorneys are determined to help our clients understand the differences between both conditions and how they are identified.

In either case, it is often difficult for the baby to breathe on his or her own. Depending on the severity of the hypoxia or anoxia, there are other issues that could be caused such as Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy or cerebral palsy. If your baby is having trouble breathing or they have bluish or pale skin, or are even experiencing seizures, these conditions may be a sign of anoxia or hypoxia. It is important to act quickly to give the best chance of avoiding lifelong damage.

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How They Are Caused

There are a number of issues that cause an infant to have hypoxia or anoxia. These can include time before the labor or during the delivery process. It is a difficult situation, but making sure that medical attention is provided immediately is important because it could lessen the severity of the condition.

Hypoxia and anoxia are often caused by the following:

  • Pinched or kinked umbilical cord
  • Traumatic brain injuries during birth
  • Birth asphyxia
  • Maternal anemia
  • Improper fetal monitoring
  • Abruption of the placenta

Proper monitoring during the pregnancy can be crucial in making sure that these conditions do not arise. Because the medical professional should be closely monitoring the fetus during the process, if they notice something wrong, they must take immediate reaction to provide a cesarean section or some other procedure to increase the oxygen to the baby.

Testing for Hypoxia and Anoxia

When a doctor suspects that an infant has a brain injury that was caused by hypoxia or anoxia, there are a number of tests they can conduct to determine if there is in fact damage done to the brain. They may run a CT scan of the head, an MRI, or an EEG. If they require more thorough tests, they may conduct SPECT tests, which is a form of a CT scan, or testing of the auditory, visual, and sensory pathways.

Backed by more than 60 years of experience, our Houston perinatal hypoxia and anoxia lawyers are well aware of how birth injury cases are handled. We aim to help your case by providing the evidence necessary to show medical negligence was the cause of the injury. Let us help you by putting together a strong case on your behalf.

Contact our firm today at (713) 489-0993 to learn more about our Houston Perinatal Hypoxia Lawyer.

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