In the process of giving birth, new mothers are usually confident that their medical team has everything under control.

However, if a newborn suffers from a lack of oxygen, brain damage can follow. What kind of problems can cause this to happen?

About infant brain damage

According to the American Journal of Neuroradiology, as many as 2 out of 10 in every 1,000 babies suffer a lack of oxygen. There are two types: anoxia and hypoxia. The latter relates to the lack of a sufficient amount of oxygen whereas the former occurs when the newborn experiences a total lack of oxygen.

Main causes of lack of oxygen

– During a difficult labor, the baby may get stuck in the birth canal and other problems such as injured limbs and Erb’s palsy can occur in addition to the lack of sufficient oxygen

– Mucous can lodge in the infant’s lungs, blocking the airways

– A knotted, twisted or prolapsed umbilical cord can cut off the baby’s oxygen supply

– A separation between the placenta and uterus that happens too quickly can reduce the baby’s oxygen supply

In each instance, the medical team must act quickly to resolve the problem in order to forestall potential long-term issues, including brain damage.

A preventable issue

With proper medical monitoring and the appropriate treatment, the problem of a newborn experiencing lack of oxygen that can lead to brain damage is usually preventable. Still, the greatest number of people who are coping with brain damage in our country are infants, leading families to question whether medical malpractice played a part in this regrettable outcome.