blog home Birth Injury Malpractice Concerning Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy

Malpractice Concerning Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy

By lladmin on September 15, 2023

There is nothing more precious than your child. Parents everywhere anticipate the arrival of a new baby with hopes for a long and healthy life. Birth injuries caused by medical malpractice have a devastating impact on children, often leading to severe injuries that require extensive medical treatment and lifelong personal care.

Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is a serious birth injury that may be caused by inadequate medical supervision and poor decisions made by delivery room doctors. If your child is suffering from hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, you have the right to seek damages to help provide the resources your family needs to receive the necessary medical care.

What Is Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy?

Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is a birth injury that occurs when a child’s brain does not receive enough oxygen during or after childbirth. To prevent HIE, doctors must monitor the mother and child during the prenatal period to screen for health risks and avoid making critical mistakes in the delivery room.

Hypoxia means reduced blood oxygenation, and ischemia refers to diminished blood flow to the brain. HIE occurs when there’s not enough blood flowing to the brain. The human brain requires a constant supply of oxygen. When blood flow is restricted, it severely damages the patient’s brain and nervous system.

HIE causes the patient’s heart rate to increase as the body attempts to provide oxygenated blood to the brain. It may trigger seizures and the loss of consciousness. Long-term effects of HIE include:

  • Physical disabilities
  • Memory problems
  • Learning difficulties
  • Lethargy
  • Difficulty feeding
  • Breathing problems
  • Low muscle tone
  • Organ failure
  • Hyperalert behavior
  • Bluish skin tone
  • Impaired motor function
  • Delayed growth and milestones
  • Hearing problems
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Delayed language development
  • Brain death
  • Coma
  • Seizures
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Epilepsy
  • Hearing loss
  • Blindness
  • Death

What Causes HIE?

HIE is frequently caused by medical malpractice, which is when a medical professional fails to uphold the standard of care required by their profession, and a patient is harmed as a result. Preventing HIE begins during the prenatal period, and early intervention is essential.

Medical errors made by the OB-GYN or anyone on the delivery team may cause HIE. When the OB-GYN mishandles the infant during the delivery process, it may lead to HIE and other birth injuries. It’s crucial to monitor the infant’s vital signs during and after childbirth. If there are signs of fetal distress or other complications, the OB-GYN may have to order an immediate C-section to protect the infant and prevent the loss of oxygen.

The following types of medical errors cause HIE:

  • Unanticipated umbilical cord problems
  • Delayed C-section
  • Diagnostic errors
  • Medication errors
  • Inadequate fetal monitoring
  • Misuse of delivery tool
  • Failure to identify and treat maternal infection
  • Failure to identify and treat preeclampsia
  • Failure to safely guide the infant through the birth canal

Types of Assistance That a Child with HIE Will Require

An OB-GYN and all the people who work in the delivery room are highly trained medical professionals. There is no excuse for careless errors that jeopardize the health of a child. It’s the hospital’s responsibility to make sure that everyone who works in the delivery has the necessary experience and training to do their job correctly. Hospitals must develop procedures that eliminate communication errors and other mistakes that could harm your child.

A child who suffers from HIE likely will require extensive medical treatment and living assistance over the course of a lifetime. A claim for damages caused by medical malpractice that leads to HIE will include the following types of damages:

  • Current and future medical costs
  • Medications
  • Pain and suffering
  • Treatment from medical specialists
  • Physical therapy
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Surgeries
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Educational interventions
  • In-home nursing care
  • Loss of future income
  • Medical equipment
  • Orthotics

The Denver birth injury attorneys at Leventhal Puga Braley P.C. are well-versed in complex cases involving medical malpractice and can guide you through the legal process. Will will work to ensure that no stone is left unturned when filing a claim for compensation.

We’re Dedicated to Helping Our Clients

The experienced trial lawyers at Leventhal Puga Braley P.C. in Denver, Colorado, have won record-breaking settlements and verdicts for our clients. We are committed to getting justice for parents and their children harmed by medical malpractice.

If your child is showing signs of a birth injury, don’t hesitate to seek legal counsel. There is no charge for your initial consultation. Call us at (303) 759-9945 to learn more today.

Related Articles:

Posted in: Birth Injury