Alex Johnson is 11 years old, and he loves April the giraffe. Like more than a million others, he watched Animal Adventure Park’s giraffe cam. He watched April give birth to her daughter, Tajiri – so excited that the little calf was finally here. So, when the Make-A-Wish Foundation asked what he wanted to do, Alex chose to go to Harpursville, New York in order to meet April and her family.
It’s a really heart-warming story, but a bittersweet one, too: after all, Make-A-Wish makes dreams come true for children with life-threatening illnesses, and that is what Alex has. During Alex’s birth, there we complications stemming from oxygen deprivation. As a result, he suffers from epilepsy, visual impairment, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and the effects of a brain injury. He is completely nonverbal, communicating through head nods and by shaking his arm.
WDAY 6 reports that “Make-A-Wish Central New York gave Alex stuffed giraffes before his visit and [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][Alex’s mother said they] ‘treated him like a king.’”
Oxygen deprivation can lead to life-threatening injuries and conditions
All birth injuries are serious; newborns are incredibly vulnerable, and what might be a minor injury to a child could have life-long effects on a baby. Oxygen deprivation, either pre-term or during the labor process, affects up to 4 million babies each year. About a quarter of those children will die as a result. Others may develop conditions like Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy, or HIE, which can lead to permanent brain damage. It may also lead to seizure disorders, developmental delays, cerebral palsy, or any number of life-threatening conditions.
Common causes of lack of oxygen during birth
So what leads to a baby being deprived of oxygen at birth? Some of the most common causes include:
- Undiagnosed preeclampsia
- Undiagnosed or untreated infections
- Physical trauma
- Shoulder dystocia
- Excessive use of labor drugs like Pitocin
- Placental abruption
- Prolapsed nuchal cords
- Delayed C-sections
- Failure to monitor the mother and child during pregnancy
Not all birth injuries are a result of medical negligence, but proper pre-partum and delivery care can reduce the chances of a child sustaining life-threatening oxygen deprivation. If you ever feel like your child is not responding or acting the way he or she normally does, trust your gut and seek medical attention as quickly as you can. It is better to be safe.
Crandall & Pera Law is a premier medical malpractice law firm. Our Ohio birth injury attorneys help families whose lives have been changed by an act of medical negligence. To learn more, please call 877.686.8879, or fill out our contact form. We also maintain offices throughout Kentucky: 877.651.7764.
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