Baltimore Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy Lawyer
The brain needs a constant flow of oxygen to function properly, and any prolonged interruption in the oxygen supply can cause permanent brain damage. Neonatal Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) is a birth injury caused by oxygen deprivation to the infant’s brain either during delivery or immediately before delivery. This deprivation results in a cascade of brain cells dying off, so that HIE victims are often afflicted with lifelong deficiencies in language skills and general intelligence.
The Baltimore hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy lawyers at Wais, Vogelstein, Forman, Koch & Norman understand the many ways that medical mistakes and unreasonable delays during labor and delivery can result in an HIE injury. Our law firm has filed HIE cases against The Johns Hopkins Hospital, University of Maryland Medical Center, Prince George’s Hospital Center, Anne Arundel Medical Center, and Johns Hopkins Bayview, and many others based on a failure to timely deliver resulting in HIE or a failure to timely and properly treat HIE.
If your baby suffered an HIE injury during birth, contact our Baltimore law office so we can look into what happened and determine whether medical malpractice was a cause of the injury. If so, we will work diligently and aggressively to hold the responsible doctors, nurses or hospitals accountable for their mistakes and see to it that you are provided with the medical care and compensation you and your child will need to face the challenges brought on by a preventable birth injury.
How Do HIE Injuries Happen?
A hypoxic injury comes from a lack of oxygen to the brain. Proper maternal and fetal monitoring can identify potential signs of HIE like acidic blood, abnormal blood pressure or fetal heartbeat, or other forms of fetal distress. With careful monitoring, doctors and nurses can take swift action to accomplish the birth safely and without any resulting brain injury to the child.
During labor or delivery, HIE can come about in several different ways, such as:
- Prolonged or delayed delivery
- Excessive use of Pitocin
- Strangulation from the umbilical cord aka nuchal cord
- Umbilical cord prolapse
- Uterine rupture
- Placental abruption
- Failure to appropriately interpret fetal monitoring strips.
HIE is almost always avoidable. In fact, doctors, hospitals and nurses are scared to diagnose HIE and put it in the medical records, which is done to hide their errors. A large percentage of the time, HIE occurs in the last 30-60 minutes before delivery and all that it would have taken to avoid brain damage was a timely cesarean section. HIE is a medical emergency that must be dealt with immediately to prevent permanent damage or fatal consequences. Whether obstetricians cause HIE through improper delivery methods or fail to treat HIE through cooling or other appropriate measures, doctors and hospitals can and should be held accountable for HIE injuries that could have been prevented or mitigated with the proper standard care.
HIE Injuries Are Expensive and Can Last a Lifetime
HIE can cause severe and lifelong impairments, including cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, motor disorders, seizure disorders, speech/language disorders, vision/hearing impairments, and sensory processing disorders. Some of these deficiencies only become apparent later in life as the child misses developmental milestones or begins to exhibit symptoms related to physical or cognitive defects. Proper care and treatment can require years of therapy (physical, speech, occupational), medical devices (braces, wheelchairs, language boards), medications, and other ongoing, expensive treatments.
Holding doctors and hospitals accountable for HIE injuries requires getting them to admit their mistake or proving their negligence, and getting them to agree on an adequate settlement amount or taking the case to court for a jury verdict. Our team at HVFK&N has decades of experience taking on cases of HIE and other birth injuries and recovering significant verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients. We work quickly to see that babies get the medical care and treatment they need to get the best outcome possible after an HIE injury, while putting together a strong case for a full and fair amount of compensation.
Help and Support for HIE Birth Injuries in Baltimore
If your child is exhibiting signs of HIE, and you believe that a medical mistake during labor or delivery might be to blame, call the Baltimore birth injury attorneys Wais, Vogelstein, Forman, Koch & Norman for a no-cost consultation at 410-998-3600. We’ll take the time to find out what happened and help you get care and compensation for your child if they were harmed by medical malpractice in a Baltimore hospital.