Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is an extremely dangerous birth injury, causing death or severe disability in 60% of moderate-severe cases. Medical negligence can cause it. If we can prove it, you have the basis for a birth injury lawsuit.
If you believe your child was a victim of HIE, speak with our hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy attorneys in Montana. We will investigate what happened and see if the evidence shows medical malpractice. We have recovered over $750 million for our clients.
For a free legal consultation, call 1-800-222-9529
What Is Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy?
This is a complicated medical term, but it’s easy to understand once you know what the words mean.
- Hypoxic: Not enough oxygen in the blood
- Ischemic: A shortage of blood flow to the brain
- Encephalopathy: Brain damage because of these
If a baby at birth cannot get enough oxygen or something blocks blood flow to the brain and causes brain damage, they suffer from HIE. It happens in about one to two babies out of every 1,000 births.
The medical diagnosis of HIE requires that the child must be older than 35 weeks in the womb and show symptoms in less than six hours after birth. This type of brain damage falls firmly in the window for birth injury cases.
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The Terrible Consequences of HIE
The moments when a baby switches over from getting oxygen from their mother to their lungs are a critical time for the brain. When there is oxygen deprivation, the cells of the brain start to die off. Those dead cells can start a chain reaction of brain damage long after the baby breathes again.
Some of the terrible consequences of HIE include:
- Seizure disorders
- Cerebral palsy
- Intellectual and developmental disabilities
- Learning disabilities
- Speech disabilities
- Sensory issues
- Behavioral and emotional disorders
Anything that the brain controls could be affected by hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, including life itself. The costs of helping your child deal with the consequences of HIE are enormous. You shouldn’t be forced to pay for them if your child’s injury was the fault of a medical professional.
How Medical Professionals Miss HIE Symptoms
When a medical professional is negligent, it opens babies up to birth injuries. The challenge in any birth injury case is proving whether their care fell under the standards of care or if they were negligent in following them.
For instance, if a fetal monitor is incorrectly used or warnings get ignored, that’s a sign of negligence. Another sign is failing to perform tests like Apgar to check the health of a newborn right after birth. It’s hard for a layperson, especially mothers just after birth, to tell when something is wrong with their care.
Our HIE lawyers in Montana know what to look for and what should have been done. We also have a team of medical experts we can consult with for advice on how to proceed with your case. HIE isn’t always preventable, but there may have been things the doctors should have noticed or treated differently.
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Damages You Could Win in a Birth Injury Case
The damages in a birth injury case can be quite high. Children with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy may need lifelong care with many specialists. The economic damages of these medical costs could grow into millions of dollars.
There are also non-economic damages to the family and to the child. Pain and suffering, inability to enjoy life, and many others could apply. Plus, in the event of your child’s death, you may be able to pursue wrongful death damages.
In cases of extreme negligence, there is also the possibility of punitive damages. A court awards these as a punishment to doctors so negligent that they deserve extra punishment according to the court.
Speak With a Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy Attorney in Montana
If you notice symptoms like seizures, poor muscle tone, breathing problems, feeding problems, or missing reflexes in your child, they could have HIE. See a pediatrician immediately if you suspect it, then speak with one of our hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy lawyers in Montana.
Find out if your child has a case. Call us at the number on your screen or use our contact form to get connected with a qualified birth injury lawyer in your area.