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Is it Normal for Your Baby to Stop Breathing During Childbirth in Maryland?

Every parent expects that a doctor will provide them with the necessary care to ensure their child is safe during the labor process. Unfortunately, some doctors may act negligently when delivering a child. As a result, a newborn could suffer a permanent or even fatal injury. If your child was a victim of medical malpractice, you should consult with an experienced Baltimore medical malpractice lawyer. Bennett & Heyman understand how an injury to a child can severely impact a family, and we are here for you. Our firm is here to explain the complications that can arise when a child stops breathing during childbirth.

What Can Cause a Newborn to Stop Breathing?

It is extremely dangerous for a newborn to stop breathing during the birthing process or after delivery. The lack of oxygen or complete deprivation of oxygen for a child can have long-lasting effects on a child. For example, a child could be diagnosed with brain damage and could even miss critical developmental milestones as a result of the injury.

There are a few reasons why a newborn could suffer from a lack of oxygen. Complications with an umbilical cord are one of the most common causes of an infant’s loss of oxygen during childbirth. For example, if an umbilical cord was tangled around the neck of a child in the womb, the umbilical cord knot could cause them to suffocate when they enter the birth canal.

Another possibility is that a child’s umbilical cord prolapses while they are being delivered. A prolapsed umbilical cord occurs when the umbilical cord exits through the cervix prior to the baby being delivered. Under these circumstances, the umbilical cord could easily be pinched, which could lead to a lack of oxygen and nutrients to the child.

Anoxia and hypoxia are two of the terms used to describe a child that has been cut off from oxygen to the brain or other parts of the body.


Anoxia is a deficiency of oxygen that affects a person’s organs, muscles, and blood. There are multiple forms of anoxia that can target different areas of the body. For example, if a newborn is suffering from deprivation of oxygen to the brain, this is known as cerebral anoxia. If a child suffers from cerebral anoxia, there is a high risk that they sustained long-term or permanent brain damage.


Hypoxia occurs when a newborn suffers a lack of oxygen to a particular area of the body. In addition to umbilical cord complications, a newborn could suffer hypoxia because of an injury to the brain.

Additionally, children that experience hypoxia may also suffer from hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy or HIE. HIE is a condition where a child does not receive sufficient blood flow to the brain, which could cause permanent brain damage.

There are other reasons that a baby might experience a loss of oxygen. Note, however, that it is not normal for a child to stop breathing at any point during childbirth. When a child stops breathing, they can suffer a wide range of debilitating conditions. If a doctor does not take adequate action to prevent the possibility of a newborn experiencing oxygen deprivation, the doctor could be held liable for medical malpractice.

It is also important to note that there is no cure for a newborn that was injured due to a lack of oxygen. However, there are some treatments that may alleviate the effects of an oxygen-related injury. For example, hyperbaric oxygen therapy could be used to dramatically increase oxygen flow for a newborn to counteract the damage caused by oxygen deprivation.

To learn more about pursuing a lawsuit for medical malpractice after your child stopped breathing at birth, continue reading and contact an experienced Baltimore birth injury attorney.

Proving a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit for a Negligent Childbirth in Maryland

If you are pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit against a doctor that caused your child to be injured at birth, there are a number of elements you must prove to prevail in your case. First, it is necessary to show that the victim had a doctor-patient relationship with the doctor in question. A doctor-patient relationship can be established by showing that you received formal care from a doctor. For example, a hospital bill showing that you received care from a doctor may be enough.

Once a victim has proven a doctor-patient relationship, they must then prove how the doctor acted negligently. There are four elements of negligence that must be proven for a plaintiff to prevail in a medical malpractice lawsuit:

  • The plaintiff must show the defendant owed them a duty of care
  • The defendant breached the duty of care
  • The plaintiff suffered an injury as a result of the breach
  • The injuries sustained by the plaintiff are compensable by a court of law

Once a plaintiff can prove these elements, they can be awarded damages for their injuries. Damages are calculated depending upon the losses experienced by the plaintiff, financial losses and emotional wounds are considered when awarding damages.

Work with Our Experienced Maryland Medical Malpractice Attorneys Today If Your Baby Stopped Breathing

If your child was injured due to the negligence of a doctor, contact an experienced Baltimore doctor negligence attorney as soon as possible. At Bennett & Heyman, we believe that a parent should never have to worry that a doctor will cause an injury to their newborn child. To combat this negligence, we are ready to offer you the legal representation that you deserve. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your claim, contact Bennett & Heyman at (410) 429-7856. You can also contact our firm online.

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