Hypoxic Birth Injuries to Newborns: Oregon Medical Malpractice Alert

Understanding Hypoxic Birth Injuries to Newborns: Catastrophic Oregon Medical Malpractice


One of the worst types of Oregon medical malpractice is a hypoxic birth injury.  Hypoxic injuries are those caused by a lack of oxygen.  They can be caused by an inadequate supply of oxygen, or a complete deprivation of oxygen.  Thus, hypoxic birth injuries are an injury caused to a baby at anytime before, during, or after the labor and delivery process due to a lack of oxygen, either an inadequate amount or a complete deprivation.


Hypoxic birth injuries can lead to a whole host of injuries, conditions, and disorders.  Many of these injuries are permanent, which is particularly due to the vulnerable state of the baby’s brain.  Common permanent injuries due to hypoxic birth injuries include the following:


  • Cerebral palsy, including athetoid cerebral palsy or dyskinetic cerebral palsy;
  • Cognitive deficiencies;
  • Sensation impairments of vision, hearing, smell, taste;
  • Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) or intrapartum asphyxia; and
  • Many other injuries.


How are Hypoxic Birth Injuries Caused?


Many hypoxic birth injuries are actually preventable when the newborn and expecting mother are properly monitored and treated during the labor and delivery process.  However, when a healthcare provider commits medical malpractice in failing to monitor or competently treat the mother or newborn, hypoxic injuries which could have been avoided are not.  This means that baby’s life could be at serious risk for catastrophic injuries or wrongful death.


Some common causes of hypoxic birth injuries which could be prevented if properly monitored and treated, but were not due to the careless, reckless, or negligent acts or omissions of a healthcare provider, include the following:


  • Umbilical cord ruptures;
  • Tangled umbilical cord (choking the newborn);
  • Breech (feet first) births which take a prolonged period of time to occur;
  • Excessive contradictions which are long and powerful, but there is few break in between them for the baby to “catch his or her breath”;
  • Early administration of labor inducing drugs;
  • Failure to properly dilate;
  • The baby is too large for the birth canal but a natural birth is still attempted;
  • Placental abruption, or when the placenta separates for the uterus;
  • Heart attack of the mother or baby during the birthing process;
  • Infections, bacterial or viral, which are not treated or guarded against;
  • Abnormal positioning of the baby; and
  • Many other causes.


What Should a Healthcare Provider Do?


When one or more of these conditions is noted above and is occurring, if the baby is demonstrating any fetal distress there must be an emergency c-section or other action taken.  The longer that the baby is left in distress, the longer that the baby will be suffering an oxygen deprivation.  With hypoxic injuries, the longer the hypoxic condition is present the worse the damage will be.


Generally, the safest option is an emergency c-section.  Some other methods may be available, such as manually manipulating the baby if the cord has wrapped around the baby’s neck or if the baby is in a bad position.  Notwithstanding, the best result may still be to perform the c-section.


Hypoxic Birth Injuries Can Lead to Catastrophic Personal Injuries Due to Oregon Medical Malpractice


If your loved one suffered a hypoxic birth injury and has sustained serious, permanent, and debilitating injuries, you may be entitled to compensation to help support your baby’s future medical costs, care, and treatment.  If you or a loved one have suffered from a doctor’s negligence, please call Kuhlman Law, LLC to learn how we can help you.


We handle cases throughout Oregon and Central Oregon, including Deschutes County, Redmond, Sisters, La Pine, Madras, Prineville, The Dalles, Hood River, Clackamas, Corvallis, Albany, Lake Oswego, West Linn, Tigard, Salem, Portland, Hillsboro, Vancouver, Washington, Beaverton, Oregon City, Eugene, Coos Bay, Astoria, Newport, Pendleton, Tillamook,  Milwaukie, Gresham, Medford, and any other city, including Bend, Oregon where our main law office is located, please call Kuhlman Law, LLC by dialing (541) 385-1999 to learn what your rights to compensation you may have.  You may also contact us using our easy and convenient “contact us” box at the bottom of our website.  If we accept your case, we will conduct a thorough investigation to get you the answers you deserve, all for free.  There is no risk, and you only pay us if we recover compensation for you.

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