“Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy” can be complicated to even read, let alone deal with after a mishandled childbirth. The condition can lead to serious consequences and may require lifelong treatment for your child. A hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy attorney in Minnesota can help you recover compensation for damages that a negligent doctor caused.
Read more about hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy and what cases are eligible for compensation. To find out more about your own situation and how an attorney can help, you can get a free initial consultation with a legal expert today.
For a free legal consultation, call 1-800-222-9529
What Is HIE?
Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, commonly known as HIE, is a type of brain damage that can occur due to a birth injury. If a child’s blood flow is restricted before or during delivery, it can cut oxygen flow to the brain and cause something called birth asphyxia.
HIE isn’t just caused by one certain mistake or accident during childbirth. There can be any number of things that cause the condition. Common causes of hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy include:
- Preexisting conditions that lead to a high-risk pregnancy, such as diabetes or preeclampsia
- Issues with the umbilical cord, placenta, or uterus before or during delivery
- Cardiac issues
- Infections in the mother during childbirth
- Premature birth
- Prolonged labor
- Delayed c-section
- Post-birth complications
Sometimes, the injury that affects your child is a random, unavoidable accident. However, in certain cases, a doctor could have avoided the conditions leading to the incident and prevented your child’s HIE. If your caregiver was negligent, you could be eligible for compensation.
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Medical Malpractice and Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy
Not every birth injury or case of HIE is grounds for a lawsuit. However, there are certainly many situations that do make birth injury victims eligible to pursue compensation. To qualify, you must be affected by medical malpractice.
There are usually four elements of a medical malpractice claim:
- Duty of care: The medical professional responsible must have owed you a reasonable amount of decency and responsibility. This is true for most caregivers and hospitals.
- Breach of duty: The caregiver must have breached their duty of care. This could have been done intentionally or, as in most cases, negligently.
- Causation: The responsible party’s negligence must have directly or indirectly caused your child’s birth injury and HIE.
- Damages: There must be economic or non-economic damages that stem from your child’s birth injury.
Negligence in hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy cases can look like many different things. In certain situations, it could be your doctor doing something wrong. Perhaps they misused a medical instrument or induced childbirth too early.
However, in other cases, negligence can be a failure to do something. If a professional can be reasonably expected to take certain measures to prevent HIE, such as calling for a c-section, monitoring fetal heart rate, or screening for infection, and failed to do so, the hospital could be liable.
When you hire a Minnesota hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy lawyer, they will investigate your case and gather solid evidence of medical negligence. This will allow them to hold the caregiver and the hospital that hired them accountable.
Is Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy a Disability?
Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy itself is not a disability. It’s simply a condition that arises during labor. However, HIE can lead to disabilities. A lack of oxygen to the brain can cause brain damage, which in turn can cause cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, or developmental disabilities.
There is a chance that your child’s hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy could have long-lasting effects. Certain conditions can be present for the rest of your child’s life. If that is the case, you could be able to collect compensation that covers not only the immediate treatment that your child received, but also ongoing treatment and therapy.
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Treatments for Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy
Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy is treatable, but it rarely goes away altogether. A small percentage of children who experience HIE at birth make a full recovery and suffer few symptoms. However, if a child does receive treatment for the condition, no matter how bad it is, their symptoms can be at least partially alleviated.
There is no cure for HIE. In fact, most treatments for it don’t actually address the condition itself, instead focusing on symptoms and other consequences caused by HIE such as cerebral palsy and developmental delays. These treatments include:
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Speech and language therapy
- Stem cell therapy
There is one current treatment for hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy itself. It is called “therapeutic hypothermia,” also known as brain cooling. This must be done within six hours of the initial brain damage, and involves cooling the child’s head or body for up to three days. If a doctor fails to do this, they could be guilty of malpractice.
These treatments can be expensive. That’s why it’s important to hire a hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy attorney in Minnesota who knows how to calculate all your damages, including future treatment, to get you everything you’re owed.
Talk to an HIE Attorney in Minnesota Today
When your child suffers an injury in any form during childbirth, it can be damaging to their quality of life and expensive to treat. This is especially true for brain injuries. The Minnesota hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy lawyers from Birth Injury Law Group can help you recover payment for the damages you and your family have experienced.
To get a FREE consultation with an attorney who can help, call us or contact us online today.