Having a baby diagnosed with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) can be devastating. Most likely you are wondering how and why this happened. Although not all cases fall under this category, doctor error or negligence is sometimes to blame.
If you have an infant with this serious condition and are wondering how this could have happened, a Los Angeles hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) lawyer may be able to help. To learn more and find out if you are eligible for compensation, call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at 800-794-0444.
Causes of Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy
Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy is a serious complication that affects full-term infants at or near birth. Approximately half of all infants affected will die by the age of two years or have severe disabilities, according to a study published in Newborn and Infant Nursing Reviews.
Afflicted babies are deprived of sufficient oxygen for a period of time and subsequently have inadequate blood flow that results in a brain disorder. Numerous birthing scenarios can cause insufficient oxygen and blood flow, including:
- Difficult forceps delivery
- Breech extraction (baby is born bottom first instead of headfirst)
- Cord prolapse (umbilical cord is delivered before the baby)
- Abruptio placentae (premature separation of the placenta from the uterus)
Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy can also occur after birth due to respiratory distress, congenital heart disease, sepsis, or shock, although this is less common.
As described by MedlinePlus, during a breech birth the baby can get stuck in the birth canal. The umbilical cord can also become damaged or blocked, reducing the baby’s oxygen supply. Forceps are most often used for a difficult delivery to help guide the baby out. Improper use of forceps can cause bleeding inside the baby’s skull or skull fractures, leading to brain injury.
Whenever fetal distress occurs, the baby needs to be delivered as quickly as possible. The longer a fetus is in distress, the more likely that oxygen deprivation will occur. Other factors that can cause fetal distress include:
- Prolonged labor
- Ruptured uterus
- Preeclampsia (high blood pressure in a pregnant woman)
- Anesthesia mistakes
- Delayed emergency C-section
If a baby does survive HIE, severe disabilities such as epilepsy, developmental delay, cognitive impairment, and cerebral palsy can result.
Symptoms of Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy
Babies may have HIE if they display the following symptoms:
- Feeding problems
- Weak cry
- Abnormal movements or seizures
- Underreaction or overreaction to stimuli, such as lights and sounds
- Weak or irregular breathing
If your baby has not yet been diagnosed with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) but is displaying symptoms, see a medical professional right away. You may also want to seek a second opinion.
For a free legal consultation with a Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) Lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (800) 794-0444
You may take whatever your doctor says at face value, believing this was a medical complication that could not have been prevented—but sometimes this condition can and should have been prevented. A doctor who is fully or partially to blame will not want to admit their role in the unfortunate outcome.
You want to know why this happened to your baby. But you may be hesitant, not knowing how or where to begin searching for answers. You may also not fully understand all the medical terminology that you are hearing.
Our team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help. A Los Angeles hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy lawyer can review medical records and interview expert witnesses to help determine exactly what happened and what caused your baby’s condition.
If it is discovered that doctor or hospital negligence caused HIE in your baby, you may want to pursue legal action. Pursuing legal action will mean fighting for justice and perhaps preventing this from happening again with future patients.
Los Angeles Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
When your baby is diagnosed with a serious condition, you will likely have great financial burden for the rest of the child’s life. You may not be able to manage without professional help. Your child may need to see therapists and specialists regularly. If your child received a diagnosis of a condition due to medical error, you should not have to pay these or similar costs.
When you decide to pursue legal action, you may be awarded compensation or receive a settlement to pay for:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Other costs incurred due to your baby’s diagnosis
Any compensation awarded is often placed in a trust for the child’s lifelong care. The money can grow and earn interest and is not counted as taxable income, so that other benefits like Medicare and Medicaid can remain intact.
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Reach Out to a Los Angeles Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) Lawyer
In California, the statute of limitations for a medical malpractice lawsuit is one year after the discovery of the injury, or up to three years after the date of the injury, whichever occurs first, according to California Code of Civil Procedure § 340.5.
For this reason, you do not want to delay in consulting with our team. A Los Angeles hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) lawyer can help resolve your unanswered questions and determine whether you are eligible for compensation.
Do not worry about unwanted legal fees. We work on a contingency-fee basis, so our consultations are free and we do not receive any money until we win or settle your case.
You deserve to have answers. To learn more, call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at 800-794-0444.