Although hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) can occur naturally and be unpreventable in some cases, it can also be caused by a medical error. Medical personnel or healthcare providers can make critical decisions that have a profound and lasting impact on a newborn, and these decisions can have serious consequences.
If your infant experienced HIE, you may be left with insurmountable medical expenses that come with the treatment and care of your child. You should not be responsible for the financial burden resulting from someone’s negligence.
You have the right to seek compensation for your losses, and a West Virginia hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy attorney can help. The Birth Injury Lawyers Group has the expert knowledge required to review your case to find instances of malpractice and help you to pursue compensation.
For a free legal consultation, call 1-800-222-9529
What is an HIE Occurrence?
Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is considered a birth injury that results from oxygen deprivation. Before a baby is born, the flow of blood is critical for the baby’s life. Blood carries oxygen to all of the vital organs and the baby’s brain, and when the supply is obstructed before, during, or immediately after delivery, it can have serious permanent consequences.
The lack of oxygen is a primary cause of newborn brain injuries. Permanent brain damage can occur after just a few minutes. Brain damage can be mild or severe, and it can be lifelong. HIE injuries can be devastating for the expectant family and alter the course of the baby’s entire life.
In some cases, an occurrence of hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy can go unnoticed. The symptoms of its existence may not manifest until years later and even into early childhood. The seriousness of the brain damage caused by HIE is usually dependent on the length of time the blood flow was restricted and the area of the brain affected.
West Virginia Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy Lawyer Near Me 1-800-222-9529
What are Some Symptoms of HIE?
The earliest signals that a baby experienced hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy are not always obvious. If your newborn experienced some of the following symptoms or conditions after delivery, an instance of HIE may have occurred. The symptoms include:
- Low Apgar scores after 5 minutes
- Bluish skin tone
- Baby was resuscitated at birth
- Abnormal responses to light
- Experiencing issues or failure in multiple organs
- Increased or abnormal maternal or fetal heart rates
- Problems with breathing or feeding
- Abnormal consciousness, very alert or lethargic
- Low muscle tone or floppiness
- Meconium staining
- Multiple organ issues or failures
- Seizures directly after birth
- Extreme back pain or cramping in the mother
Ultrasounds or MRIs of the baby’s head would normally be ordered if a doctor suspects HIE. Treatment to minimize the effects of HIE would be administered. Brain cooling or therapeutic hypothermia involves dropping the baby’s body temperature to slow the circulation. This is meant to provide a better environment for recovery and prevent further damage.
Was My Child’s HIE Caused by Medical Malpractice or Negligence?
You may not currently know for sure if your child experienced an occurrence of hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. It can be difficult for those not in the medical profession to understand the correct procedures to follow in the delivery of a baby.
Healthcare professionals are unlikely to admit to making any mistakes that may put their careers at risk. A parent’s best shot at finding the truth about medical errors usually lies in finding an experienced birth injury attorney.
West Virginia hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy lawyers will consult with other medical professionals and analyze a case to determine whether negligence was a contributing factor in the injuries.
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What Are Some of the Most Common Causes of HIE Due to Medical Malpractice?
Many people can be involved in the birth of a baby, and countless mistakes could have been made. Each case is unique, but the most common causes of HIE birth injuries due to medical errors include:
- Delayed treatment for fetal distress including delayed c-sections
- Failure to diagnose or treat infections
- Fetal or maternal monitoring errors or failure
- Improper delivery procedures
- Incorrect patient errors
- Late diagnosis of complications or conditions
- Misdiagnosis and failure to properly evaluate
- Overuse of Pitocin or delivery- inducing medications
When you begin to suspect an error has been made and a birth injury was caused by negligence, it is within your rights to contact a West Virginia HIE attorney.
How Much is My HIE Case Worth?
Every case is different, but your West Virginia hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy lawyer can help you to calculate the value of your case. By taking into consideration the actual medical bills, time off work, and projected costs of care, the amount of damages can be estimated.
Looking at previous cases that are similar in nature is one way to estimate the value of a case. Some of the common damages included in a malpractice case involving HIE can be:
- Future medical care
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of earning capacity
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
Lifelong care for children born with birth injuries can vary depending on the severity of the injury and the subsequent disabilities experienced. Damages can result in claims valued from hundreds of thousands of dollars to millions.
If a child requires non-stop care for the duration of life, the expenses can be astronomical. An attorney experienced with HIE cases can provide a more accurate estimate of your claim.
Later Signs of Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy
During pregnancy, labor, delivery, or immediately following the delivery, it is possible for an infant to experience an occurrence of oxygen deprivation or HIE. However, it may remain undiscovered for days, weeks, or even years.
In the early stages of infancy continuing through preschool age, children can manifest the effects of HIE. Some of the conditions that can appear later on can include:
- Cerebral Palsy
- Epilepsy or seizure disorders
- Cognitive impairments
- Motor impairments
- Language impairments
- Developmental delays
- Hearing impairments
- Visual impairments
Contact a Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy Attorney in West Virginia for a Free Consultation
When your baby is injured, it can be extremely stressful. You may find yourself further traumatized by learning that the injuries could have been prevented. The loss is suffered by not only your baby but by your entire family.
The hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy attorneys of the Birth Injury Lawyers Group in West Virginia understand the devastating effects of HIE and infant brain injuries. Our compassionate team is committed to the aggressive pursuit of compensation that is rightly due to the victims of birth injury victims, and they are ready to listen to your needs. Please contact us today.