Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy Lawyers New York
Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy, also known as “HIE”, can be a serious condition that results in lifelong medical issues including permanent disability, cerebral palsy, and brain damage.
The severity of HIE can range from mild to severe, depending on the duration and extent of oxygen and blood flow deprivation. In mild cases, the baby may recover with minimal or no long-term effects. However, in severe cases, HIE can lead to brain damage, seizures, developmental delays, cerebral palsy, and other significant neurological disabilities.
Those with HIE may struggle with their disabilities and need expensive medical treatment, surgery, and more. Though there is no cure, an HIE lawyer can help you get financial compensation for your child’s injuries.
If your child’s cerebral palsy was caused by the negligence of a medical professional or hospital, you may be entitled to compensation for all the present and future expenses the injury will cost you. To learn more, contact the expert birth injury law team at Merson Law PLLC.
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What is Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy?
Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy, usually referred to simply as HIE, is a brain condition that may develop during pregnancy, labor and delivery or in the postnatal period.
It occurs as a result of birth asphyxia, which is when the brain is starved of oxygen for a period of time. HIE can result in serious, permanent damage to the brain.
While many infants with HIE experience mild symptoms, or even no symptoms, in rare and serious cases, HIE can be life-altering.
“If the blood or oxygen supply to the brain has been interrupted, the rest of the body may have also been “starved” of oxygen. This may cause damage to other organs, including the heart, liver, kidneys and bowels. These organs usually return to normal function. However, if the brain has sustained an injury, it may not recover fully. The length of time the brain was without oxygen usually determines the severity of the damage.”
-Courtesy of UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals
Causes of Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy
HIE is always caused by oxygen deprivation. This can occur for a variety of reasons. HIE can develop during pregnancy, during labor and delivery, or after your baby has been born.
During each of these stages, there are several known causes of HIE.
HIE During Pregnancy
HIE during pregnancy can be caused by:
- Problems with blood flow to the placenta
- Maternal diabetes with vascular disease
- Congenital fetal infections
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Severe fetal anemia
- Heart disease
- Lung malformations
HIE During Labor and Delivery
Potential causes of HIE during labor and delivery can include:
- Umbilical cord problems
- Abruption of the placenta or rupture of the uterus
- Excessive bleeding from the placenta
- Abnormal fetal position, such as the breech position
- Prolonged late stages of labor
- Very low blood pressure in the mother
HIE After Delivery
Problems that induce HIE after delivery can include:
- Severe prematurity
- Severe lung or heart disease
- Serious infections
- Trauma to the brain or skull
- Very low blood pressure in the baby
- Respiratory failure or cardiac arrest
Signs & Symptoms of HIE
Symptoms of HIE can differ, depending on the extent and the severity of the brain injury. Symptoms also vary based on what part of your child’s brain was affected. Since HIE can cause cerebral palsy, many of the signs and symptoms of CP also apply to HIE.
In addition to symptoms of cerebral palsy, other signs and symptoms of HIE include:
- Abnormal movements or seizures
- Feeding problems, caused by weak muscles in the throat and mouth
- Your baby has a weak cry
- Your baby is unreactive to sights or sounds, or they react abnormally to stimulation
Other signs of HIE include organ dysfunction, especially of the heart, lungs, kidneys, liver and blood. These can be hard to identify as a parent, which is why it is important that your doctor examines your baby after birth and at regular intervals thereafter.
A negligent doctor or medical professional may not properly identify the signs and symptoms of HIE, which can lead to further issues for your child.
If your doctor failed to recognize these signs, you may be able to sue for medical malpractice with the help of an Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy lawyer, like Jordan Merson.
What Can New York Families Recover in an HIE Lawsuit?
In a hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy lawsuit, families can seek compensation for many damages. These damages can include current and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of wages, and much more, like:
- Physical therapy
- Speech coaching
- Recreational therapy
- Corrective surgery
- Occupational therapy
- Braces and orthotics (for walking and stability)
- Equipment like wheelchairs, rolling walkers, canes, etc.
How can an HIE Lawyer Help?
An HIE lawyer can help you and your family pursue compensation for these damages.
Though you may be an expert parent, you’re not an expert attorney, and the organization or individual you take to court will have lawyers hired to defend them.
Sometimes, these lawyers will reject your claim altogether. Other times, they may offer you an amount of compensation that is significantly lower than the amount you need to pay for your child’s expenses.
Without legal representation, it’s nearly impossible for an individual to win a birth injury case. That’s why you need an experienced HIE lawyer to argue on your behalf against your opposition.
The hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy Lawyers at Merson Law PLLC have decades of experience litigating cases similar to your’s, some of which have settled for millions of dollars.
Our team will work with you to get the compensation you need to build the best life for your child, and we’ll do it without hourly rates.
To start your claim, contact us by filling out our confidential form or by calling our Manhattan office. Get started with your birth injury lawsuit today.