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New York Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy

Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, referred to as HIE, is a type of brain injury to babies that is caused by a shortage of oxygen in the blood that leads to a shortage of oxygen to the brain. The result is brain damage. HIE effects 2-3 babies per 1000, and can leave the baby with serious, lifelong injuries, including severe developmental and cognitive disabilities. While there are many causes for HIE, oftentimes with planning or fast action on the part of your obstetrician or other medical professional responsible for your care, the HIE could have been avoid. If your baby suffered a serious birth injury that you believe was caused because your doctor was negligent, contact a New York hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy lawyer who will examine your case and explain your legal options.

Common causes of HIE

Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy can be caused by any of a number of problems that can occur during labor and delivery. In most cases with proper planning and monitoring, the long-term complications related to HIE can be avoided.

Delayed delivery c-section: If the baby is in distress, then immediate delivery via c-section may be necessary. Otherwise, the baby may suffer prolonged lack of oxygen, leading to brain damage.

Improper fetal monitoring: Fetal monitoring is one of the most important methods to determine if the baby is properly oxygenated. A change in the baby’s heartbeat can signal a problem, and allow the medical staff to quickly treat the problem.

Placental damage: Placenta provides oxygen and nutrients to the baby through the umbilical cord. If the placenta is damaged, then the baby will not receive needed oxygen.

Ruptured uterus: A ruptured uterus is a life-threatening condition for the baby. The baby will need to be delivered immediately. Otherwise, the baby will suffer brain damage from lack of oxygen.

Umbilical cord complications. Problems with the umbilical cord are associated with lack of oxygenation. For example, if the cord is wrapped around the baby’s neck, the oxygen flow may be disrupted, leading to HIE.

Premature rupture of the membrane. Premature rupture of the membrane refers to a mother’s water breaking more than an hour before labor. This can lead to umbilical cord problems, which in turn may lead to a lack of oxygen to the baby and HIE.

Premature birth. Preterm babies are at greater risk for HIE.

Oligohydramnios. Oligohydramnios refers to low amniotic fluid. This is typically caused by a problem with the placenta. When the placenta is not functioning properly the result can be that the baby does not receive oxygen.

Pursuing damages

Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy can lead to the baby suffering severe and permanent brain damage. Babies with HIE often have cerebral palsy, epilepsy, vision loss, hearing loss, feeding issues, cognitive problems, speech delays, and intellectual disabilities. Treatment for complications related to HIE will be substantial. As experienced New York encephalopathy lawyers, we understand that parents are concerned about how they will be able to pay for their child’s complex health needs as they grow.

If your child’s HIE was caused because of medical negligence, then you can demand that the negligent doctor or hospital pay for your child’s lifelong medical care. We are aware of far too many cases of HIE that could have been avoided, but for the negligence of a medical professional. For example, according to accepted medical standards, doctors must monitor both the mother and fetus during labor and delivery. If there are signs of distress indicating that the baby is suffering from a lack of oxygen, the doctor must respond immediately. Failure to do so will be catastrophic for the baby.

With the help of a hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy attorney in New York, you can demand payment for not only your child’s medical expenses, but also for other losses suffered such as loss of future earning ability and loss of enjoyment of life.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

Learning that your baby suffered a severe birth injury that left him or her with permanent brain damage is devastating news. Understandably, you want to know what happened. If your baby suffered HIE because the medical staff was negligent, it is important that you are represented by an hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy attorney serving New York who has the legal knowledge and resources to ensure that your legal rights are protected. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has the experience, knowledge, and resources to help. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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