Minneapolis HIE Lawyers: Causes, Symptoms, and Legal Insights
Most parents’ worries regarding impending parenthood begin well before their child is born. Most of these never come to fruition, and parents’ concerns move on to other things like getting their baby to sleep at night and diaper rash.
But for many parents, the baby they anxiously awaited was the victim of a heartbreaking birth injury. One of the more serious of these injuries is hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy or HIE.
How Prevalent is an HIE Birth Injury?
Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy is a type of brain damage that can occur when the brain has been deprived of oxygen or blood flow for an extended period of time. When the brain has not gotten enough oxygen and blood, cells begin to rapidly decay and die. And this may have a serious impact on a child’s future life.
According to the National Institutes of Health, HIE occurs in 1.5 to 2.5 per 1000 live births in developed countries. While many different situations can cause a lack of oxygen to the brain during gestation or delivery, HIE can also happen as the result of negligent care or decisions made by the delivery team before, during, or immediately after the birth process itself.
What Are the Long-Term Health Consequences of HIE?
Children who have experienced HIE can run the spectrum from having no long-term consequences to suffering serious disabilities. A more severe HIE brain injury can result in cognitive impairment, developmental delays, cerebral palsy, or epilepsy. Initial symptoms can include
- The baby’s lack of alertness and activity
- The lack of typical infant reflexes
- Seizures or abnormal movements
- Higher or lower muscle tone than normal
- Breathing issues
Some babies will not show symptoms of brain dysfunction immediately, especially if the lack of oxygen happens before the delivery. While symptoms may not be noticeable initially, they can become more pronounced as the child develops. Some symptoms of HIE aren’t even identified until a child becomes school-aged.
What Can You Do If Your Child Has Developed HIE?
If your child has symptoms of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, a neurologist can make a diagnosis through neuroimaging tests. The neurologist will look for signs of a brain injury while also monitoring your child for brain dysfunction and seizures.
Caring for a child with a brain injury can require ongoing treatments and support and can become very expensive. If you suspect that your child’s HIE was the result of your delivery team’s or healthcare professional’s actions or inactions before, during, or after labor and delivery, you may be entitled to file a medical malpractice lawsuit to hold your provider accountable and liable for the costs of caring for your child. It is critical to get the assistance of a birth injury attorney to help you understand your rights and possible options.
Medical malpractice and birth injury lawsuits can be complicated and require extensive evidence. If you suspect that your child’s hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy resulted from your provider’s errors or negligence, the experienced Minneapolis birth injury lawyers at Kuhlman Law can help. Call us at (503) 479-3646 or contact us through our website contact form to schedule a free consultation.
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