When a child suffers from hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy after birth, it means that the child’s brain did not receive adequate oxygen during delivery. In most cases, this occurs because the umbilical cord becomes compressed or tangled around the baby’s neck while being delivered.
In some cases, however, it can be caused by other factors such as placental abruption or uterine rupture. Oftentimes, babies who suffer from hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy will have seizures shortly after birth.
If your child has been diagnosed with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, you want to make sure that he receives the proper treatment. A hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy attorney in Lakewood will help you get the compensation you need for medical bills and provide services for your child’s future needs.
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What Is Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy?
Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is a medical condition that affects the brain and spinal cord. Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy occurs when there is not enough oxygen getting to the brain. This is usually associated with some kind of trauma shortly before, during, or after birth.
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Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy Symptoms
While HIE symptoms vary depending on how much oxygen was cut off from the brain at the time of injury, they may include:
- Lethargy (sleepiness) or poor feeding
- Jitteriness or irritability
- Difficulty breathing
- Irregular breathing patterns, such as apnea (stopping breathing) or periods where the baby takes shallow breaths
- Poor muscle tone (floppiness)
- Poor feeding skills
If HIE goes untreated for a substantial amount of time, it can cause permanent damage to an infant’s brain and other organs in their body. This condition can lead to a variety of physical disabilities, including cerebral palsy and developmental delays.
Long-Term Effects of Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy
The long-term effects of HIE vary widely from child to child depending on how severe the injury was and whether it occurred before or after birth. Some children with HIE go on to lead independent lives with few limitations while others experience significant cognitive and physical disabilities.
Children who experience milder forms of HIE may not have any lasting effects from their injury but those who suffer more severe injuries typically require lifelong care because they have an increased risk of other health problems like cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and intellectual disabilities.
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Who Can Be Held Responsible For Your Child’s Injuries?
Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy lawyers in Lakewood are determined to find out who was responsible for your child’s injuries. There are multiple parties that could be held liable for your child’s birth injury including:
Doctors who failed to treat your condition properly can be held accountable for any damages you suffered as a result of their negligence. This could happen if your doctors missed a diagnosis, improperly performed surgery, or failed to monitor the infant’s condition properly.
Nurses who failed to respond quickly enough or adequately enough may also be liable for any damages you suffered as a result of their negligence. These can include nurses who failed to properly monitor the infant and nurses who did not respond quickly enough when they were notified of an emergency situation or a change in condition.
If there were complications during delivery, it could be argued that the hospital staff did not perform their duties correctly or were negligent in their treatment of your baby. This could include negligence in monitoring blood pressure during labor, failing to take proper precautions when performing a C-section, or failing to monitor newborn babies after birth.
The hospital itself may also be liable for any damages you suffered as a result of their negligence.
How Common Is HIE?
HIE occurs in two to nine out of every 1,000 live births. HIE can affect anyone, but it occurs more often among:
- Premature babies and
- Babies who are sick at birth or
- Babies whose mothers had an infection during pregnancy
- Babies who had a traumatic birth
Babies are at high risk of HIE because they’re unable to regulate their own breathing and temperature. They also have smaller blood vessels than adults, which means that any blockage in the blood flow can cause significant damage.
Why a Lakewood Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy Attorney Is Needed
If your child suffered from hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy because of medical malpractice during the birthing process, you may be able to pursue compensation for their injuries through a personal injury lawsuit against those responsible for their care.
A hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy attorney in Lakewood will be able to help you determine whether or not this type of claim applies to your situation. Our birth injury lawyers know what steps need to be taken in order to help you get compensation for your medical bills and lost wages while recovering from this injury. Reach out to a lawyer today to get started on your case.