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What causes birth asphyxia?

Birth asphyxia is a very serious injury that takes place at birth. It can lead to death if left untreated, because the baby or fetus is going without the needed amount of oxygen.

There are several reasons why a child may be suffering from this condition. For instance, if the mother is suffering from problems breathing, then there won't be enough oxygen in the blood. This means that the baby won't be getting enough either, leading to asphyxia. A long delivery, problems with the umbilical cord, or choking can also cause this problem.

Babies who are born with anemia or who haven't had enough time to form the proper airways may also suffer from the condition. These children must be monitored and assisted immediately. Immediate help is needed during the first stage of asphyxia, because this is the time when the brain and organs are going without oxygen. During this stage, the longer a child goes without oxygen, the greater the amount of damage that can be done.

In the second stage, medical advisers, doctors, and nurses, should be monitoring the child for reperfusion injuries. These are injuries suffered due to the restore of normal blood flow to the brain and organs. When the normal blood flow returns, toxins are released from the damaged cells in the body. This leads to further damage that can continue on for weeks following the initial injury.

Anyone whose child suffers these injuries should consider looking into a medical malpractice case. In most cases of asphyxia, proper monitoring should have prevented injuries; for example, if a mother is having a complicated delivery, a Caesarian section can be used to reduce the stress on the baby and to prevent asphyxia.

Source: Seattle Children's, "Birth Asphyxia," accessed Nov. 23, 2015

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