Jump to Navigation

Perinatal Asphyxia

Was Your Baby Deprived Of Oxygen During Birth?

A lack of necessary oxygen before, during and after birth can have profound consequences for a newborn. An inadequate supply of oxygen can cause damage to the brain as well as impair the functioning of your newborn's organs.

As many as four in every 1,000 newborns experience birth asphyxia; oxygen deprivation is even more common among preemies. The length of time your newborn is without oxygen and whether the situation was diagnosed and properly responded to are both important factors in whether your baby will have experience serious consequences from a lack of oxygen.

Damage Caused By Oxygen Deprivation

There are two periods that can cause serious injury to your baby if he or she was deprived of oxygen during birth:

  • The period of deprivation
  • The period of reoxygenation or reperfusion

Perinatal asphyxia is also called neonatal asphyxia, birth asphyxia or intrapartum asphyxia.

Your birthing team should be watching for signs of fetal distress, such as an abnormal heart rate or improper pH levels, which could indicate a lack of oxygen getting to your baby. Common medical responses may include:

  • Repositioning the mother
  • Giving additional oxygen to the mother
  • Ordering an emergency c-section
  • Discontinuing the use of labor-inducing drugs like Pitocin

Some babies who experience mild oxygen deprivation during birth will recover completely with no long-lasting signs of birth trauma. However, if left unnoticed, oxygen deprivation during birth can also result in severe infant brain trauma, hypoxic brain injury, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, cerebral palsy and even death.

Your Options After A Failure To Diagnose And Monitor

If your birthing team - including your obstetrician, midwife or delivery nurse - failed to identify the common signs of oxygen deprivation and take appropriate action, you may have a claim for medical negligence. A birth trauma as serious as infant brain injury can have a lifelong impact on your child, slowing his or her development and requiring ongoing therapies to improve his or her quality of life.

If you have questions about whether a medical professional caused or contributed to your baby's injury, the Birth Injury Team is here to help. Contact our office online today to schedule an appointment at a time most convenient for you.


Located in Philadelphia, Silvers, Langsam & Weitzman, P.C., home of MyPhillyLawyer, serves clients in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, and throughout the United States.

En Español
SL&W | Silvers, Langsam & Weitzman | Attorneys At Law | Have Your Case Reviewed by our Legal and Medical Team Download Our Brochure | Coping with a Birth Injury

Ask Us a Question?

Contact us toll free at: 215-227-2727 or
contact us by using the free case review form below:

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy