Although child birth is supposed to be a happy time both for the parents and, presumably, the newborn as well, it is also a risky process. There are a lot of things that can go wrong while delivering a child, which is why most parents trust an experienced doctor and medical team to help them safely deliver a healthy baby.

Still, things can go horribly wrong in the middle of giving birth, and, if not treated, these emergency circumstances can cause the baby to suffer cerebral palsy, brain damage, some other permanent disability or, in the worst cases, even death.

One such emergency circumstances is when the baby being delivered experiences a significant drop in oxygen flow, or hypoxia. This condition can onset suddenly and, since it means the baby is not getting the chemicals it needs to stay alive, can quickly lead to injury.

This condition can happen for a number of reasons. In some cases, the baby’s umbilical cord has malfunctioned or is clamped or obstructed. In other cases, a problem with the mother’s placenta is to blame. In still other cases, the baby just for whatever reason is not being supplied enough oxygen in the course of the delivery.

Fortunately, doctors have a lot of ways to quickly detect the onset of hypoxia. In the middle of a delivery, the best course of action at that point is usually to deliver the baby immediately, by C-Section if necessary. Quickly resolving hypoxia will usually mean the baby suffers no permanent injury.

If, on the other hand, a medical team misses the fact that the baby is developing hypoxia or does not respond to the situation with the necessary degree of urgency, a baby can wind up permanently disabled. In these sorts of situations, a medical malpractice claim may be appropriate.