Pennsylvania Birth Injury Lawyers
Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, or HIE, is one of the most common kinds of brain damage in children. It occurs because of oxygen deprivation often due to complications during child-birth. While the effects of the issue can vary, the injury can cause serious developmental delays, cognitive issues, and motor impairment.
As a parent, you’re always doing your utmost to protect your children. Unfortunately, HIE and the resulting complications are often due to negligence on the part of their medical providers and are out of parent’s hands. However, the burden that is put in a family’s hands is the extensive medical treatments and therapies for related health problems that can last a lifetime. This often saddles families with crushing medical costs and lifestyle changes.
Although it can be difficult to manage a situation in which your child has suffered an HIE injury, there are options you can pursue to better your family’s life. As personal injury experts, we’ll walk you through some of the basics of HIE and what steps you can take to get justice for your child.
What is Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy
HIE is a brain injury that happens as a result of the brain being deprived of oxygen. In newborns, this oxygen deprivation is also known as intrapartum asphyxia. While the body of a newborn can compensate for short periods of oxygen deprivation during the rigors of childbirth if the deprivation lasts too long brain tissue begins to be damaged. HIE is the leading cause of death and severe impairment for infants.
HIE is especially dangerous because even in cases where it does not cause death, the effects are often serious. Complications from HIE include impairments like epilepsy, delayed development and motor skills, cognitive impairment, and cerebral palsy.
HIE Delayed Diagnosis
HIE can be especially problematic because diagnosing the exact nature of the brain damage is often not possible until a child has begun to grow and their neurological development becomes more clear. Usually, it’s not possible to see the severity of impairment until a child is at least 3 or 4 years old.
Causes of HIE
As we’ve discussed, HIE is caused by a lack of oxygen reaching the brain, however, that asphyxiation could be the result of a number of factors, including:
- A lack of oxygen in the blood because of poor lung function
- Acute maternal hypotension
- Irregular heartbeat
- Injuries due to umbilical cord complications
- Cephalopelvic disproportion (child is unable to progress during birth)
- Medical negligence
- Fetal stroke
While childbirth does have its risks, with some complications being unpreventable, in many cases the onset or severity of a complication could be aided with the proper medical care. Unfortunately, some medical professions who are trusted with their patients’ safety are negligent in their duties for a number of reasons, including fatigue, rushed schedules, improper training, and a lack of attention. Many of these issues come down to money, with the profits of a hospital being put above the needs of their patients.
Get in Touch
Philadelphia Newborn HIE Lawyers
Personal injury laws are in place to help people injured because of someone else’s negligence get compensation for the physical, emotional, and financial damage they suffer as a result. If your child suffered from asphyxia as an infant, your best course of action is to consult an expert law firm as soon as possible. An experienced personal injury lawyer is the only one who can properly defend all of your family’s legal interests.
McEldrew Purtell has over 30 years of experience in personal injury law. We have the knowledge and expertise to fully evaluate your situation and pursue the compensation you deserve. To schedule a meeting for a free consultation, fill out our form or call us directly at (215) 545-8800.