Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) Lawyers

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Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) Attorneys in Raleigh

Did Your Child Suffer a Brain Injury Because of Medical Negligence?

Estimated to occur in approximately 2% of full-term infants, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is a type of brain damage caused by oxygen deprivation. An infant’s body and brain can compensate for brief periods of oxygen loss during birth, but an extended period of asphyxiation can cause permanent damage. HIE caused by fetal or neonatal asphyxia is the leading cause of severe impairment or death in infants in the U.S.

If your child suffered from hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy or any type of brain damage at birth, you deserve to know whether it could have been prevented. Our Raleigh birth HIE attorneys know what types of mistakes and negligence to look for when we investigate claims involving hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. We work with top-notch medical experts and investigators to accurately assess medical records and all evidence at hand, building a clear picture of what occurred and whether the standard of care was compromised in any way.

Find out more about HIE and your legal right to compensation for your child’s care. Call (919) 780-5400 for a free, confidential consultation with an HIE lawyer.

Consequences of HIE

Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy can have varied, long-term consequences. The severity of brain damage and the location of such damage may influence what types of symptoms a child experiences, as well as the amount of care he or she needs. The full impact of HIE might not be fully recognized until a child reaches about three to four years of age.

HIE has been linked to such symptoms and conditions as:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Epilepsy
  • Developmental delays
  • Motor impairment
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Behavioral issues
  • Attention deficits

Record-Setting Birth Injury Recoveries in North Carolina

After a birth injury such as hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, your child may require immediate and ongoing care. It is possible that your child may require constant care for the rest of their life. Quality of care and quality of life are of the utmost importance.

Our Raleigh HIE lawyers are here to help you recover the financial compensation you need to provide a stable, comfortable, and happy environment for your child and your family. We hold various records for the settlements and verdicts we have been able to obtain for our clients through the years, including the record for the highest birth injury settlement in North Carolina. Our reputation has been well earned, and we are prepared to put our skill and passion to work for you.

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
  • Seizures
  • 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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