We all must contend with changes throughout our lives, some of which prove to be very stressful. But it is quite possible that the most difficult change we ever contend with occurs when we are born. An infant goes from a state of being ensconced in his or her mother’s womb to suddenly being part of the big wide world. But it’s not just the baby’s surroundings that change; there are very rapid and critical physical changes that take place as well.
Of course, breathing is one of the most important functions that a newborn must be able to perform. And the difference between breathing in the womb and outside of the womb could not be more profound.
While in the womb, a fetus processes carbon dioxide and oxygen via the blood that courses through the placenta. When a baby is delivered, his or her lungs are not yet inflated and contain amniotic fluid. And a baby’s first breath, which should occur within 10 seconds after delivery, will sound like a gasp. The gasp signifies the central nervous system’s reaction to the change in temperature.
From that point, the amniotic fluid dissipates and the baby’s lungs and circulatory system work in tandem to take in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide. And this can also be a time where the doctor and medical staff performing the delivery must make sure that the baby is breathing correctly and that all of his or her vital signs are normal.
Unfortunately, sometimes a doctor or staff member will miss a problem or fail to respond to an emergency properly. When this happens, the baby may not receive enough oxygen, which could result in a brain injury.
If you suspect your baby was harmed due to not receiving an acceptable level of care during the delivery, you may wish to have the matter investigated by a medical malpractice attorney. An attorney can work to find out if your baby did suffer a serious injury and who may be liable. The attorney could also help you seek appropriate compensation.