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Birth Asphyxia - What To Do If Your Baby Suffered From Birth Asphyxia?

Birth Asphyxia - What to do if your baby suffered from birth asphyxia?

What Can Parents Do If Their Child Suffered From Birth Asphyxia?

Did you give birth to a child that now suffers from birth asphyxia, birth injuries or medical malpractice? If so, then you have probably dealt with a host of problems, including a high medical bill, a lifetime of physical and emotional pain and a ruined childhood. Birth injuries and birth asphyxia are not only extremely painful for parents and families, but they also require lifelong medical treatment.

If your newborn was injured in the delivery process, you should contact a birth injury lawyer for help. They will work with you to pursue the full damages you deserve. There is a significant chance that your birth injury was caused by medical negligence.

Call our birth injury law office at Banville Law today for a free consultation.

Local birthing centers:

  • Gaia Midwives, PLLC
  • Baldwin Midwifery Services
  • Long Island Midwifery Services
  • Stony Brook Midwives

What is Birth Asphyxia?

Birth asphyxia occurs when oxygen levels in the baby's bloodstream drop too low during delivery. This causes the baby to stop breathing.

It happens most often when the mother has an obstructed labor, meaning her cervix doesn't open properly. If the baby isn't delivered quickly, the baby may die within minutes.

There are two main types of birth asphyxia: 


Acute birth asphyxia happens within minutes after birth.

Acute birth asphyxia is caused by lack of oxygen reaching the baby's tissues. 


Chronic birth asphyxia may happen later is usually caused by a combination of factors that include poor intrapartum management, delayed referral, inadequate neonatal resuscitation, and failure to recognize and treat severe perinatal conditions.

What Causes Birth Asphyxia?

According to the World Health Organization, birth asphyxia accounts for 2% of global under-five deaths. However, this number varies widely across countries. 

Common causes of birth asphyxia include:

  • Prolonged labor
  • Obstructed labor
  • Breech presentation
  • Shoulder dystocia
  • Fetal distress
  • Cord prolapse
  • Maternal diabetes
  • Placental abruption
  • Uterine rupture
  • Amniotic fluid embolus
  • Cephalopelvic disproportions

Prolonged labor is one of the major causes of birth asphyxia. If labor lasts longer than 12 hours, chances of birth asphyxia increase significantly.

An obstruction in the pelvis can lead to birth asphyxia. An obstructed labor is characterized by the slow progress of labor, inability to deliver the head, and failure to progress beyond the second stage of labor.

Risk Factors for Birth Asphyxia

Certain risk factors contribute to birth asphyxia, including:

  • Multiple gestations
  • Low socioeconomic status
  • Preterm labor
  • Pregnancy-induced hypertension
  • Premature rupture of membrane
  • Polyhydramnios
  • Antepartum hemorrhage
  • Postpartum hemorrhage
  • Intrauterine infection
  • Cesarean section
  • Obstetric trauma

Long-Term Complications of Birth Asphyxia

Birth asphyxia is one of the most common causes of death among newborn babies worldwide. It affects approximately 1 million infants every year worldwide.

In addition to causing immediate complications such as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, respiratory depression, seizures, and metabolic acidosis, birth asphyxia can lead to long-term neurological sequelae such as cerebral palsy, cognitive impairment, epilepsy, hearing loss, vision problems, learning disabilities, and behavioral disorders.

Who Is Liable for Birth Asphyxia Injuries?

In most cases, these injuries are caused by medical negligence. If you believe that your child was injured due to medical malpractice, you may be entitled to compensation.

However, you cannot file a lawsuit against a doctor unless they have been negligent. This means that you must prove that the doctor failed to provide adequate care.

What does this mean for parents? If you think your baby suffered birth injuries due to medical negligence, you may be able to hold the responsible party liable. However, you cannot sue until after the statute of limitations expires.

This means that you have two years from the date of the incident to file a claim. If you miss this deadline, you may still be able to bring a case later. It is best to consult with an experienced birth injury lawyer.

How Do I File a Claim for Birth Asphyxia-Related Injuries?

In order to file a claim for birth asphyxia-related injuries, you must first determine whether your child suffered from "birth asphyxia." To establish that your child had birth asphyxia, you must prove that he/she did not receive sufficient oxygen during labor and delivery.

This means that you must demonstrate that:

  • Your child was born alive;
  • They received no oxygen for at least 15 minutes after birth; and
  • There were signs of life prior to receiving no oxygen.

These three elements are necessary to establish that your child suffered from birth asphyxia. If you believe that your child suffered from these conditions, you may be eligible to file a claim for compensation under New York state law. However, you should note that filing a claim for birth asphyxia-related injuries is complicated. 

Get Justice For Birth Injuries in New York

New York has been ranked among the top ten states for birth injury lawsuits. This is due to the fact that the state has one of the highest rates of infant mortality in the country.

Severe birth injuries can be life-changing for a child and their family. It is important to find a lawyer who will take the case seriously and who will work hard to help you get compensation for your child's birth injury. Birth injury lawyers are specialists in this area of law and understand the legal process, the medical evidence, and the various factors involved in your case. They are also experts in how to protect your rights.

If you believe that a birth injury occurred as a result of medical negligence, you should contact a birth injury lawyer immediately. The sooner you hire a birth injury attorney, the better your chances of getting the compensation you deserve.

At Banville Law, we have extensive experience with birth injury cases. If you have a birth injury case, we can help. We will review your case and help you understand how best to proceed. We can help you identify potential witnesses and medical providers and gather evidence, if necessary. We are proud to help our clients who were injured in New York City and Long Island, New York.

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Laurence P. Banville
Date Published: August 15, 2022
Laurence P. Banville is the managing partner of Banville Law. As an experienced personal injury attorney, Mr. Banville helps clients recover compensation from those responsible for his clients' injuries. Our firm is located in New York City, serving clients from the five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island.
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