Some cases of cerebral palsy (CP) are caused by brain malfunctions or infections, while in other cases, the cause of death is unknown. However, in many cases, CP is caused by a lack of oxygen during birth. Cerebral palsy is caused by brain damage, which is often the result of oxygen deprivation during birth.
If your baby has cerebral palsy, you may be filled with anguish and wondering what the cause is and if there was anything you could have done differently. What happened to your baby wasn’t your fault, but medical malpractice could be to blame.
Causes of Oxygen Deprivation During Birth
Birth asphyxia can be caused by maternal shock or bleeding, abnormal birth presentation, or an infant with a large head. It can also be caused by an infant’s airways not being formed correctly or being blocked, or by the umbilical cord being compressed. Anemia and low or high maternal blood pressure can also be responsible for a baby being deprived of oxygen at birth.
Shoulder dystocia is another way babies can be deprived of oxygen during birth. This condition happens when a baby’s shoulder is stuck on the mother’s pelvis, so the newborn can’t pass through the birth canal.
We saw this in the news recently when Real Housewives Kara Keough Bosworth’s beautiful newborn son McCoy tragically passed away in April due to shoulder dystocia and a compressed cord, which fatally cut off his oxygen supply.
The midwife somehow missed the fact that Keough Bosworth’s baby was well over 11 pounds when they decided to let her deliver vaginally. Medical mistakes that lead to tragedies like this one happen every day in the United States. And in thousands of these cases, the result will be cerebral palsy.
Facts About Birth Asphyxia and Brain Damage
Now that we’ve gone over how injuries can cause oxygen deprivation, let’s take a look at what oxygen deprivation does to a fetus’s brain.
● pH and blood gas levels: When a baby’s oxygen supply is cut off, it alters the levels of blood gas and pH in their system. This increases the risk of acidosis, a condition that happens when carbon dioxide enters their bloodstream.
● Glucose and other nutrients: Glucose and other nutrients like fatty acids are an essential part of normal fetal metabolism and growth, including brain growth. When the air supply is cut off, these won’t be present in adequate amounts. The result can be excess waste matter in the infant’s brain.
● Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE): This term translates into “brain disorder caused by not enough blood or oxygen.” This neurological condition can lead to severe impairment in a newborn, and it can also be fatal.
Some oxygen deprivation is not avoidable, but in other cases, the damage was caused by the negligent acts of a medical professional.
When Brain Damage Is Caused By Negligence
When a doctor, nurse, or medical facility’s mistake causes brain damage in a newborn, parents may be especially distressed knowing they could have taken the healthy newborn they’d dreamed of home from the hospital if only these medical professionals had been careful. Instead, because of a preventable injury, the rest of their lives and their child’s life will never be the same.
If you believe your baby’s cerebral palsy may have been caused by medical negligence, an attorney can help you get answers. Visit Texas Cerebral Palsy Lawyer resource to learn more about your child’s rights and your options. You may be afraid for your child’s future and feeling overwhelmed right now, but help is available. On top of attorneys, there are government and private organizations that can assist you. You do not have to deal with this alone.