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Detailing how brain damage occurs following perinatal asphyxia

Despite the assumption that many in Providence County may have that delivering a baby has become a risk-free medical procedure, experience has taught us here at DeLuca and Weizenbaum that is often not the case. If you experienced complications during childbirth, then you are well aware that even the slightest delay in addressing an issue with your baby can produce catastrophic results. One such issue that babies may experience during birth is oxygen deprivation. If not immediately remedied, a lack of oxygen can result in serious brain damage or even death.

The clinical term for your baby suffering from a lack of oxygen during or immediately after birth is perinatal asphyxia. Most may think that the simple lack of oxygen is what causes brain damage in babies during delivery. In actuality, it happens in two stages: within minutes of your baby being deprived of oxygen, cells begin to die. Restoring blood flow is vital at this point in order to stop extensive cellular death. Yet doing so can cause further damage during reperfusion, or the reintroduction of blood flow to oxygen-deprived tissue. According to the Pediatric Research Journal, once reperfusion occurs, further organ damage can occur through the release of toxic reactive oxygen metabolites, which continue to attack organ tissues across days and even up to weeks. Thus, it may be difficult to tell the extent of your child’s injuries immediately after having restored his or her oxygen flow.

Clinicians are trained to recognize the symptoms of perinatal asphyxia. If they fail to pick up on them during your delivery, it may be too late to avoid severe brain damage to your baby by the time he or she is actually delivered. You can find detailed information on your legal options following such delivery complications here on our site. 

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