What Is Asphyxiation?

According to UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, perinatal asphyxiation occurs when a baby is without oxygen for a significant amount of time during or shortly after delivery.  The lack of oxygen often causes neurological damage, which worsens as the child continues to be without oxygen.  Perinatal asphyxiation can also cause damage to the child’s other vital organs.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Asphyxiation?

Depending on how long the child is without oxygen, the effects of perinatal asphyxiation can vary considerably.  In mild cases, perinatal asphyxiation may slow the child’s mental and physical development, as well as affect his or her quality of life.  More severe cases of perinatal asphyxiation cause the child to develop a lifelong neurological condition, such as cerebral palsy, which may inhibit the child’s ability to work a job or even live alone.  In the most severe cases, the child will die.

In many situations, perinatal asphyxia can be prevented or remedied before permanent damage or death occurs.  However, doctors do not always do everything they should to prevent this life-threatening condition.  For example, if a doctor fails to diagnose preterm labor or certain maternal infections, perinatal asphyxiation may result.  Likewise, when doctors fail to watch the baby’s monitors during or after labor, fail to react to a drop in oxygen or fail to resuscitate a newborn properly, perinatal asphyxiation may occur or worsen.

What Can an Asphyxiation Lawyer Do for You?

If your child developed perinatal asphyxiation, there is a chance that the medical personnel caring for your child at the time of delivery may be responsible.  An asphyxiation lawyer can examine your child’s medical records, including neonatal records, delivery records and fetal monitor printouts, to determine whether the perinatal asphyxiation could have been prevented or remedied sooner.

If your lawyer determines that medical personnel did not do everything in their power to prevent your baby’s condition, he or she can file a lawsuit on your behalf.  If you win the lawsuit or the case settles, you may receive compensation for your child’s medical costs.  In some cases, you may also receive compensation for lost future wages and/or noneconomic pain and suffering damages.

Find an Asphyxiation Lawyer…

To find a qualified asphyxiation birth injury lawyer, you need to find a medical malpractice lawyer who has experience with birth injuries of various types.  The statistics on this website help determine the most successful and most experienced medical mal lawyers.  You can begin your search here on our website by browsing through our statistics, relevant information and search tools.  If you seek assistance, feel free to contact us for further guidance in selecting counsel.


UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital

Seattle Children’s Hospital and Foundation