Denver Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy Lawyers
Did Your Baby Suffer Brain Damage During Birth? There Is Help Available
Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) 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.
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.
The top trial lawyers at Leventhal & Puga, 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 for a free consultation about your situation.
What Is Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy?
Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy is also called perinatal asphyxia or cerebral asphyxia. "Hypoxic" means low oxygen, and "ischemic" means a cut-off 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 takes place in two stages. First, brain cells are damaged due to 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 reperfusion injury.
Can Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy Be Prevented?
Prevention is key when it comes to hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. The most important things doctors can do in order to prevent HIE are:
- Monitor the baby closely so that fetal distress (also called non-reassuring fetal heart rate) is detected right away.
- Deliver the baby quickly when fetal distress is present.
Symptoms of Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy
There are signs that can signal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy at birth. Some of them are:
- 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 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 the following tests: MRI scan, CT scan, ultrasound, and echocardiography. 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 (lowering the baby’s body temperature) within the first few hours has been shown to have some success in minimizing the effects of HIE.
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.
After a Birth Injury, Speak to a Birth Injury Attorney
If you believe your child’s brain damage was caused by medical malpractice, we strongly suggest that you get in touch with our legal team at Leventhal & Puga, P.C., right away. There is a deadline to file a claim based on medical malpractice, and it is different in every state. Plus, the sooner we can examine your medical records, the more evidence we can start to gather.
Leventhal & Puga, 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 for a free consultation.
- Cooling Therapy Helps Newborns Years Later - NIH News in Health
- Birth Asphyxia - National Center for Biotechnology Information