Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) is a specific type of brain damage that can occur during labor and delivery or in the neonatal period when a baby’s brain fails to receive adequate oxygen and blood flow. Sadly, HIE is the cause of neonatal deaths and brain injury.

There are numerous ways your baby could suffer oxygen deprivation that leads to HIE. Some of them are due to the negligence of doctors and hospitals. Some of the most common ways include, but are not limited to:

  • Labor and Delivery
    • Placental abruption
    • Low maternal blood pressure
    • Abnormal fetal position
    • Placental hemorrhaging
    • Umbilical cord entanglement
  • Neonatal
    • Cardiac or pulmonary disease
    • Sepsis
    • Brain or skull trauma

Diagnosing HIE

There are numerous signs and symptoms that the baby may have suffered a hypoxic episode in utero. Doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals that see these signs need to consider the possibility that the baby may be suffering from too little oxygen. Some of the signs include:

  • Decreased fetal heart rate
  • Decelerations in fetal heart rate
  • Decreased activity of the baby’s central nervous system
  • Slow or sluggish responses of the fetal heart rate in response to uterine contractions
  • Meconium stained amniotic fluid
  • Decreased Apgar’s of baby
  • Decreased muscle tone of baby
  • Decreased heart rate of baby
  • The presence of fetal seizures
  • Weak breathing by baby
  • Low blood ph by baby

Long-term Effects of HIE

Babies who are diagnosed with HIE may suffer from a variety of long-term effects. The severity of the effects will depend largely on the severity of the lack of oxygen and how long the hypoxic episode lasted.

Babies with severe HIE may experience significant developmental delays, epilepsy, speech disorders, impaired vision, cognitive issues, and Cerebral Palsy. They live their lives with painful and debilitating issues that require a lifetime of care.

HIE Caused by Medical Negligence

There are times when a baby suffers brain damage because of medical negligence. Failure to properly monitor the mother and fetus during labor and delivery or in the NICU can result in hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. In Rhode Island, families who believe that their baby suffered harm because of a medical professional’s negligence can seek compensation by filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.

An experienced Rhode Island birth injury lawyer can help you choose the legal path that is best for your family after a serious and devastating birth injury. Medical malpractice lawsuits have two main goals: to take care of children with HIE by obtaining a settlement or verdict and to hold negligent medical and nursing practitioners accountable.

By filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, you may be able to recover the money you will need to provide a lifetime of specialized care for your child and prevent future families from suffering birth injuries. Medical malpractice lawsuits encourage institutions to develop and implement better safety procedures and review how their own policies contribute to devastating birth injuries.

Contact Our Providence Birth Injury Lawyers Today

If your baby suffered hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy during the labor and delivery process, we can help. At Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd, our Providence birth injury lawyers know that families whose children have suffered a birth injury need money to help pay for medical expenses and care. We also know that these injuries can result in a lifetime of disability, pain and suffering.

We also know that these injuries can result in a lifetime of disability, pain and suffering. Call us today at (401) 283-0745 or fill out our confidential contact form for a free initial consultation and review of your case.