FREE CONSULTATION • CALL US 24 / 7 212-994-7777


Representing Hypoxia Victims and Their Families Throughout New York City

Perinatal hypoxia is a birth injury that occurs when a baby receives inadequate oxygen to its brain before, during, or after delivery. Although babies who suffer mild hypoxia can recover without permanent damage, moderate or severe hypoxia may result in brain injury, resulting in cerebral palsy, cognitive deficiencies, seizures or hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). The latter occurs when the infant is not only oxygen-deficient, but when there is an interruption in blood flow to the brain. Perinatal hypoxia is one of the most common causes of death or disability in newborns.

If your baby has been diagnosed with hypoxia, it is possible that oxygen deprivation could have been avoided if the doctor had acted more quickly or thoughtfully. If you believe that your doctor's negligence or incompetence may be the cause of your child's disability, you should consult with a reputable birth injury attorney to find out whether you and your family are entitled to compensation for the trauma you have suffered and for the future ordeals you face. Prime Law Firm, located in New York City and serving clients throughout the five boroughs, is a medical malpractice firm of consummate professionals. We know how to fight hard for you in and out of the courtroom and have a track record of obtaining substantial compensation for our clients.

Risk Factors for Perinatal Hypoxia

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists estimates that 4 percent of infants suffer from hypoxia during the birth process; some studies show an even higher incidence of the problem. Now that there are methods to treat the condition, it is all the more important for doctors to be aware of babies at high risk and to catch the problem as quickly as possible. The longer the infant remains without oxygen, the more likely it is that hypoxia will lead to permanent debilitating damage. Risk factors that the obstetrician needs to be aware of include:

  • Maternal smoking or alcohol abuse
  • Maternal anemia or autoimmune disorder
  • Preeclampsia (high blood pressure in the mother)
  • Placental insufficiency (blood flow disorder)
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Separation of the placenta
  • Prolapse or occlusion of the umbilical cord
  • Shoulder dystocia (baby's shoulder gets stuck behind the mother's pubic bone)
  • Abnormalities of blood vessels in the infant's brain
  • Mother with diabetes or gestational diabetes

The more immediately the physician detects potential danger to the infant, the more likely it becomes that a medical intervention will prevent permanent damage. When the doctor fails to monitor the fetus or infant closely enough, misunderstands the seriousness of the situation, or incorrectly determines what should be done to remedy the situation, he or she may be guilty of medical negligence, whether or not a Cesarean section is performed.

What Prime Law Firm Can Do To Help

When you come to us for a free consultation, our experienced and knowledgeable birth injury attorneys will listen to your story with patience and compassion to determine whether your doctor's negligence was the likely cause of your child's birth injury. We will carefully examine all medical data, interview all relevant witnesses, and bring in medical experts to review the facts of the case. Our birth injury attorneys are very adept at assessing the extensive costs your family is likely to incur if you have a permanently disabled child. We will only take your case if we are confident that we can obtain substantial compensation for your family. There will be no attorneys' fees until we win.

Effects of Perinatal Hypoxia

U.S. National Institute of Health records show that perinatal hypoxia causes about one-third of neonatal deaths. Even when infants survive the trauma, many suffer serious brain damage that may cause paralysis or severe developmental delays. Medical complications resulting from perinatal hypoxia can affect the baby for the rest of its life. These include:

  • Severe seizures
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Paralysis
  • Behavioural disorders

Because an affected infant is likely to experience the full effect of hypoxia within 48 hours after birth, there is a brief period during which the situation can be treated.

Treatments for Hypoxia as a Birth Injury

It is urgent to recognize and treat perinatal hypoxia as quickly as possible, hopefully within the 48 hour window. First, the infant must be resuscitated. Then the other needs of the baby must be met, including treatment for hypo-or-hyperthermia, fluid management, and continuing ventilation. Recent years have see the innovation of cooling therapy which slows down brain swelling and the cell death that would otherwise result in permanent brain damage. If your doctor has delayed administering cooling treatment, or has not taken the step at all, and your infant has suffered permanent damage, our birth injury attorneys may be able to sue the doctor for medical malpractice.

What Compensation You Can Expect After A Hypoxia Diagnosis

Once we have accumulated all necessary information, we may be able to settle your claim through skillful negotiation, but we are fully prepared to fight vigorously for your rights in the courtroom. We will seek compensation for any and all of the following out-of-pocket expenses:

  • Medical, hospital, and rehabilitative expenses
  • Wages you lose while caring for your baby or child
  • Specialized childcare
  • Physical, occupational, and psychological therapy as needed
  • Medication
  • Alterations or devices to make your child's home environment more suitable
  • Physical pain and emotional suffering
  • Your child's loss of ability to engage in normal childhood activities
  • Present and future costs of specialized nursing care

If situations in which the doctor not only violated his or her “duty of care,” but also violated the law or behaved in an especially egregious manner, our birth injury attorneys may be able to obtain punitive damages as well as compensatory ones. Punitive damages are monies above and beyond compensatory damages and are designed to punish the doctor and to prevent others from mirroring such awful behavior.

Prime Law Will Stand Up for You and Your Child

At Prime Law Firm, we understand all too well the impact a severe birth injury has on the whole family and the exorbitant costs involved in assisting the affected child and keeping the rest of the family stable and functional. Our birth injury attorneys will vigorously fight to hold the medical professional and/or hospital accountable for their negligence. We will ensure that you receive enough in compensation to cover long-term care for your disabled child and psychological therapy to help other family members cope with the emotional burdens of this devastating situation. Call or fill out a contact form on our website. Prime Law Firm is here to help.