Three Risks that Cause Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy: Oregon Birth Injury Lawyers

Understanding the Three Risks that Cause Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy: Oregon Birth Injury Lawyers

Birth asphyxia is a dangerous or potentially deadly condition where a baby suffers an oxygen deprivation.  This oxygen deprivation causes damages to the baby’s developing brain.  This damage takes the form of lesions which are irreparable.  These lesions leave voids in a baby’s brain, meaning that normal messages and functions cannot be performed due to the damage.  Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy is one type of birth asphyxia which is caused by lack of oxygenated blood flow to the brain which results in the permanent damage.  There are three risks that cause hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, or HIE.  Our Oregon birth injury lawyers explain why all families should know about these risks to protect their children’s rights.

What is Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy?

Also known as HIE, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy is a life-threatening, medical emergency.  This is due to a lack of oxygen supply to the brain.  The lack of oxygen supply to the brain is due to a lack of or decrease of blood flow to the brain.  This lack of oxygenated blood is what causes the brain damage to a baby.

The signs of HIE include the following:

  • Poor feeding from the baby, including being very fussy
  • Lethargy
  • Seizures
  • Discoloration at birth (blue or pale)
  • Excessive acid buildup in the blood
  • Hypotonia, or weak muscle structure
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Abnormal behavior
  • Extreme crying for no apparent reason
  • Extreme lack of crying when it would be normal
  • Dilated pupil anda  fixed pupil
  • Non-reactive to stimuli and
  • Many other trouble symptoms.

Three Risks that Cause Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy

There are many different cases of hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy or HIE.  The break down into three general risk factors.  These three risks that cause hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy are 1) maternal risks and health, 2) umbilical cord issues, 3) placenta issues, and postpartum issues.  Our Oregon birth injury lawyers explain each risk factor and some common issues.

Maternal Risks and Health Issues

The baby’s health starts with the mother.  Maternal health issues can result in serious complications and problems for the baby.  Some of these maternal risks can be easily managed, whereas other maternal risks cannot be.  Failure to identify and mitigate or treat these risks can result in HIE or other serious birth injuries.  The most common maternal risks due to Oregon medical malpractice in failing to identify, treat, and care include the following:

  • Gestational diabetes – when the mother has gestational diabetes the baby will usually rapidly grow.  While these sounds like a good thing, it is actually a horrible and risky thing.  This is because a baby that grows too large in the womb could cause delivery complications.  Gestational diabetes can be managed with medication and changes in diet, exercise, or other treatment.  When it is not, it is a recipe for serious personal injuries.
  • Preeclampsia – high maternal blood pressure plus signs of organ dysfunction could result in serious and catastrophic damage to the placenta.  This means that the supply of oxygen to the baby could result in life-threatening damage.
  • Multiple pregnancies – the more children, the more complications that could arise.  This is because everything is doubled or tripled.  This places extreme drain on the mother as well as additional complications that could raise with the umbilical cords.

Umbilical Cord Issues

The umbilical cord is the lifeline for the baby.  This is where nutrients and oxygen flow from the mother and to the baby, and where the waste products from the baby flow to the mother to process.  When an umbilical cord suffers any time of injuries or damages, it could result in very serious birth injuries and personal injuries such as hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE).  The most common umbilical cord risks that cause hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy include the following:

  • Compression – if the umbilical cord is being compressed during the labor and delivery process it could result in a decreased flow of oxygenated blood to the baby.  This could cause brain damage  from the lack of oxygen.
  • Umbilical cord prolapse – this is when the umbilical cord comes out first and is born before the baby.  This creates a restricted flow of oxygen which can result in serious personal injuries.  
  • Caught around the baby’s neck – when the umbilical cord is caught around the baby’s neck it could result in a decrease of oxygen to the baby from 1) compression of the cord, or 2) compression around the neck’s arteries which slow oxygen delivery.
  • Rupture – if the umbilical cord ruptures or otherwise tears, it can result in life-threatening and catastrophic injury to the mother or the baby.

Placental Issues

The placenta is the anchor of the umbilici cord to the mother’s uterine wall.  Damage to the placenta could result in significant injury to both the mother or the baby.  This is particularly true to the baby.  The most common placenta risks that cause hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy due to Oregon medical malpractice include the following:

  • Placental abruption – this is when the placenta separates prematurely from the uterine lining before the baby was born. This means that the baby has no lifeline of oxygen.
  • Placenta previa – usually a candidate for c-section, a placenta previa is where the placenta attaches low in the uterus and blocks or partially blocks a baby’s travel to the birth canal.
  • Insufficiency – if the placenta is not attached well or suffering from other conditions such as high blood pressure or gestational diabetes, it could result in a lack of oxygen supply that the baby needs.

Oregon Birth Injury Lawyers That Handle Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice contact the Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form.  We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover. 

Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton,  Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles,  St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.  

We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take medical malpractice cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.  

Please act quickly, there is a limited time (Statute of Limitations) in which you can bring a claim under the law.

For a free case evaluation


(541) 385-1999 in Bend, Oregon
(503) 479-3646 in Portland, Oregon
(612) 444-3374 in Minnesota

– or fill out the form below –

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