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New Hope for Brain Damage Recovery After Oxygen Deprivation at Birth
Around 450,000 babies are born preterm in the U.S. every year, according to the Children’s National Research Institute. Premature babies are often deprived of oxygen caused by immature lungs or irreversible birth injuries. Inadequate oxygen levels can decrease a newborn’s blood pressure, heart rate, and limiting the blood flow to vital organs and tissue. When this happens, irreversible neurological or cellular damage can occur and lead to permanent deficits and disabilities such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and vision and hearing loss.

Premature babies and those with brain injuries caused by birth have typically been treated with minimal handling, avoidance from stressful stimuli, including receiving care and treatments in new, quiet private family rooms. A new study led by researchers at Children’s National Hospital, published online on February 19, 2020, in “Nature Communications,” could lead to new treatments for children affected by brain damage caused by oxygen deprivation at birth. The recent study suggests that when oxygen-deprived infants are faced with opportunities for optimal brain development through an “enriched” environment, it may result in a more positive growth and healing of the brain.

What Makes for an “Enriched” Environment?

The New York Times was out with a blog post last week that notes how complications from vaginal birth likely do not receive the attention they deserve. Reams of stories are filed on the unique risks to C-sections and the harm that may come for those with certain risk-factors (old age, obseity, diabetes, etc.). However, far less discussion takes place regarding the harm that comes even in the “traditional” birthing process. The post is a helpful reminder that childbirth can always become a dangerous situation, and proper care is absolutely essential at all times.

The article was written by a mother who shared her personal story of injury following a vaginal birth. Contrary to the “grand” memories many claim to have about the birth of their children, this mother admitted that her memories are mostly about pain and injury. Specifically, she discussed how she experienced an extreme vaginal tear–a common injury during the birthing process. There are different degrees of tears, with some more serious than others. In her case, the writer sufferd the worst possible, a tear of the fourth degree.

The serious tear should have been expected because the mother experienced serious problems during an earlier birth. When her first child was born the mother was forced to push for hours, forceps were used, and she left the hosptial barely able walk. When preparing for this second delivery, she discussed these problems with her doctor. Was a C-section a better option? Perhaps, but the woman’s doctor in this case apparently brushed it off. She writes, “I expressed my apprehension about another vaginal birth to a doctor beforehand. His response was to ask, “Was it really four hours, or did it just feel like four hours?”

Our Chicago birth injury attorneys often receive troubling calls from heartbroken parents describing incidents of shoulder dystocia. According to a recent article from, shoulder dystocia is a birth complication often associated with, but not limited to pregnant women with diabetes. Shoulder dystocia occurs when a child’s head is delivered, but the shoulders of the child are unable to pass through the birth canal. When this occurs, the child is immediately in jeopardy of suffering serious birth injuries or even death. According to the report, sometimes doctors are able to avoid injury by quickly repositioning the child, but others aren’t so lucky.

Shoulder dystocia is one of the most dangerous birth complications. Once the head of a baby is delivered, significant strain is placed on the umbilical cord. In a typical childbirth setting this is not a problem because of the relatively short period of time between delivery of a baby’s head and shoulders. In shoulder dystocia cases, however, the prolonged stress often leads to permanent injuries.

John Perconti filed a lawsuit against Evanston Hospital in 2005 for complications suffered by Denise Juarez when the birth complication of shoulder dystocia caused her to ultimately suffer from Erb’s palsy, which is the weakness or loss of movement caused by damage to the nerve bundles at one’s shoulders.

A Massachusetts birth injury law firm recently announced a new website for parents of children who suffered serious birth injuries, The birth injury website contains valuable information, including contacts and tools to help parents who are affected by birth injuries such as cerebral palsy and Erb’s palsy. The website also gives parents the opportunity to interact with birth injury experts. Follow the link to learn more about this new resource for birth injury information.

A new website has been launched called the Birth Injury Resource Center where individuals whose children have been injured at birth can see about new legal birth injury updates and medical information regarding birth injuries. The resource can help one who is contemplating bringing a birth injury lawsuit and can help one get in touch with a birth injury lawyer. The website also helps to distinguish between hospital lawsuits versus lawsuits against physicians for doctor mistakes during the birthing process. Litigation may be a good course of action for one to take to receive monetary awards after they have suffered personal injuries from a hospital mistake. To see this new website click here.

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