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Denver Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy Lawyers

We Get Compensation for HIE Caused by Medical Negligence in Denver

Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), or neonatal encephalopathy, is a serious brain injury babies can suffer due to a lack of oxygen during birth. Without oxygen, brain cells die off and cause permanent, widespread damage. This damage can result in a lifelong cognitive disability, and may even cause seizures, impaired motor control, and developmental delays. No parent wants that for their child.

If your baby suffered hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, you should immediately speak to an experienced Colorado birth injury attorney. Medical negligence may be to blame for what happened to your child, and HIE will lead to serious, lifelong expenses. You shouldn’t be stuck with the bill that comes with physical therapy, special classes, and care for your child.

The top trial lawyers at Leventhal Puga Braley P.C. want to help. We handle major birth injury cases across the country and have helped countless families recover compensation to provide for their children. Please call us at (303) 759-9945 or toll-free at (877) 433-3906 for a free consultation about your situation.

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What Is Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy?

Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy is also called perinatal asphyxia or cerebral asphyxia. "Hypoxic" means low oxygen, and "ischemic" means restricted blood flow. "Encephalopathy" is a general term for widespread brain damage. However, HIE is not necessarily caused by both hypoxia and ischemia - it can be either or both.

HIE happens when a baby’s brain is deprived of oxygen during pregnancy, labor, or birth. While a fetus can compensate for a momentary lack of oxygen, a prolonged period of deprivation is likely to cause brain damage, thus resulting in HIE. It can also result in damage to other organs, such as the kidneys and heart, since the entire body, not just the brain, relies on oxygen for survival. This damage can later cause epilepsy, developmental delays, and motive and cognitive impairment.

HIE takes place in two stages. First, brain cells are damaged due to a lack of oxygen or blood. Then, when blood flow and oxygen are restored, the toxins that built up in the damaged cells are released into the body, creating even more harm. This is called a reperfusion injury. HIE is an incredibly dangerous condition that can impact your child for the rest of their life. Early detection is key for treatment and preventing further damage.

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Can Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy Be Prevented?

If the condition is caught early enough, then it can be prevented. Prevention is key when it comes to hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, but your doctors must monitor you and your child properly to do so. The most important things doctors can do to prevent HIE are:

  1. Monitor the baby closely so fetal distress (also called non-reassuring fetal heart rate) is timely detected.
  2. Deliver the baby quickly when fetal distress is present.

If these steps are not followed, the development of HIE may not be found in time to prevent long-lasting harm. Many fetuses are at risk for HIE, so doctors must always be ready for that potential issue. If they are not prepared, and the disorder is not caught, then your child’s brain damage may be the result of medical malpractice.

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What Are Symptoms of Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy?

Brain injuries will have different symptoms based on the area of the brain that is damaged. Some symptoms and indicators include:

  • The baby has difficulty feeding, sucking, or swallowing food.
  • The baby has a low heart rate.
  • The baby was resuscitated at birth.
  • The baby had a seizure shortly after delivery.
  • The baby has a bluish skin tone.
  • The baby had a low Apgar score for more than five minutes after birth.
  • The baby has low muscle tone and/or limpness.
  • The baby is suffering from multiple organ issues, for instance in the lungs or heart.
  • The baby has difficulty breathing.
  • The baby has a strange response to light.
  • The baby falls into a coma.

If doctors suspect HIE, they might run an MRI scan or a head ultrasound. Doctors need to establish whether it’s a mild, moderate, or severe case of HIE and then determine the best path of action from there. Therapeutic hypothermia, also known as cooling, which involves lowering the baby’s body temperature within the first few hours of injury, may be successful in minimizing the effects of HIE if done in time.

Babies with HIE can experience developmental delays, seizures, motor skill issues, neurodevelopment problems, cognitive issues, and other medical difficulties. The extent of HIE cannot be fully determined until the child is a few years old, but treatment will almost certainly be expensive.

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When Medical Negligence Causes HIE

A major cause of HIE is medical malpractice that occurs when doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals fail to uphold the standard of care required by their profession, and this results in a patient being injured.

Mistakes made in the delivery room may cause HIE and other serious birth injuries. Anyone working on the delivery room team may be liable for medical negligence that injures a child.

Potential causes of HIE include:

  • Delayed C-section
  • Lack of fetal monitoring
  • Delivery team communication errors
  • Failure to anticipate umbilical cord problems

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Reasons to Hire an HIE Lawyer Today

Nobody at the hospital is going to tell you if they made a tragic error that caused an injury to your child. Leventhal Puga Braley P.C. has been helping malpractice victims in Denver for over 40 years. We will investigate your situation and advise you on the best way to move forward.

Leventhal Puga Braley P.C. will review medical records, interview witnesses, fight to obtain internal hospital records, and consult with medical experts to build a strong medical malpractice case. Then we will file a claim or lawsuit against anyone whose negligent behavior contributed to your child’s injuries. This may include doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists, and other hospital employees. Hospitals and administrators may also be held liable for lack of oversight and negligent hiring of incompetent, inexperienced, and poorly trained personnel.

You and your family may be eligible to receive financial compensation to cover your medical costs and other expenses. When Leventhal Puga Braley P.C. files a medical malpractice claim for HIE, you may get compensation for:

  • Current and future medical expenses
  • Reduced earning potential
  • Pain and suffering
  • Educational technology
  • Medications
  • In-home nursing care
  • Medical devices
  • Reduced enjoyment of life
  • Home modifications
  • Wrongful death

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Long-Term Consequences of HIE

Birth trauma in the delivery room that causes HIE will impact your child for the rest of their life. This puts a tremendous strain on your family because the long-term costs of caring for a child with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy can be astronomical.

A child with HIE will require extensive medical treatment that may include surgery, hospitalization, and treatment provided by medical specialists. Additional interventions such as physical therapy, behavioral therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and tutoring may be necessary. Your child may also require hearing aids, ophthalmological care to assist with vision, orthotics to enhance mobility, and other medical devices. A lifetime of personal living care is often necessary for basic hygiene, and you may need wheelchair ramps for your home.

The long-term consequences of HIE include:

  • Physical disabilities
  • Developmental delays
  • Cognitive disabilities
  • Organ failure
  • Delayed growth
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Learning difficulties
  • Loss of bowel and bladder control
  • Brain death
  • Blindness

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Speak to a Denver Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy Attorney

If you believe your child’s brain damage was caused by medical malpractice, we strongly suggest that you get in touch with our Denver hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy attorneys at Leventhal Puga Braley P.C. right away. There is a deadline to file a claim based on medical malpractice, and it is different in every state. On top of that, the sooner we can examine your medical records, the more evidence we can start to gather.

Leventhal Puga Braley P.C. handles birth injury claims around the country, and our award-winning trial lawyers are committed to getting injured children the compensation they deserve. The medical team that put you in this difficult position must be held accountable for their negligent behavior. We want to ensure that what happened to you never happens to another family.

While we handle your case, you focus on taking care of your child and your family. There will be no fees until we get you a settlement or jury verdict. Call us at (303) 759-9945 today and receive no charge for an initial consultation.

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