Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) Lawyers
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Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (“HIE”) FAQ
What are some signs that hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy has occurred?
Lack of oxygen and blood supply to the brain is the primary cause of hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy in newborns. Common signs of HIE include:
- Low Apgar scores at birth
- Breathing problems at birth
- Pale/blue skin color at birth
- Resuscitation at birth
- Blood gases indicating metabolic acidosis
- Abnormal reflexes
- Increased or decreased muscle tone
- Abnormal neurologic exams
How prevalent is HIE?
HIE is actually fairly prevalent, occurring in 1.5 out of 1,000 births. HIE is responsible for approximately a quarter of all neonatal deaths globally.
How do physicians handle HIE?
Medical intervention is required immediately for suspected HIE. If certain criteria are met, the medical team will utilize therapeutic hypothermia soon after birth, generally within six hours of birth. Therapeutic hypothermia involves the use of a cooling blanket or cooling cap to lower the baby’s temperature. Reducing the baby’s temperature reduces the baby’s metabolic rate in an attempt to decrease damage to the brain. If cooling protocol is utilized, the medical team will closely monitor the baby.
Why hire an HIE attorney?
In some cases, HIE is the unfortunate result of medical malpractice. Medical caregivers are responsible for recognizing and promptly addressing signs of fetal distress in order to prevent injuries like HIE. Failure to act properly or quickly can leave the baby and family to deal with profound, lifelong consequences. Medical malpractice cases are highly complex and sensitive, requiring a well-versed HIE lawyer.
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