English English Spanish Spanish

Birth asphyxia may lead to long-term complications

When you prepare to give birth in New York, you likely put a good deal of faith in your doctor and medical team, trusting these professionals to deliver your healthy baby. However, certain circumstances and medical mistakes have the potential to cause something called birth asphyxia. Birth asphyxia is a condition that results when an infant fails to receive enough oxygen during labor and delivery.

Per Medical News Today, in serious cases, birth asphyxia may lead to death or serious, potentially life-altering complications.

Causes of birth asphyxia

Birth asphyxia often occurs following long and difficult labor. It may, too, result from meconium aspiration syndrome, which occurs when the baby ingests a combination of amniotic fluid and his or her first bowel movement. Other common causes of birth asphyxia include infection, umbilical cord prolapse, compression of the umbilical cord and amniotic fluid embolism, among others.

Complications associated with birth asphyxia

When your baby experiences birth asphyxia, he or she may experience a wide range of complications. The complications may depend on the severity of the case. In mild cases, complications might include high blood pressure or respiratory distress, among others. More serious cases may cause hyperactivity, intellectual disabilities or attention deficits. Research has also shown links between birth asphyxia and autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, low intelligence or vision or hearing impairment.

In cases that are not especially severe, infants may go on to lead relatively normal lives. However, about 30% of instances of birth asphyxia end up being fatal. If an infant survives a severe case of birth asphyxia, he or she may experience permanent brain or organ damage.