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Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy / HIE

San Antonio Birth Injury Attorney

Birth asphyxia occurs when a baby in utero doesn’t get enough oxygen, whether it’s because of an umbilical cord compression, excessive contractions or issues related to medical malpractice, like a doctor failing to appropriately handle fetal distress. When a baby’s brain fails to get oxygen, brain cells can get injured, resulting in a number of issues, such as seizures, cerebral palsy and hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE).

For over 30 years, the Tom Rhodes Law Firm P.C. has dedicated our practice to service victimized individuals in a number of personal injury matters, such as car wrecks, construction accidents, wrongful death, medical malpractice and birth injuries. If you believe your child has suffered a birth trauma or serious long-term disability as the result of medical negligence, contact our San Antonio birth injury attorneys today to set up a consultation.

What Causes Birth Asphyxia?

Oxygen-rich blood travels from the mother, past the placenta and to the baby through a vein in the umbilical cord. Anything that affects this blood flow can impact the baby’s oxygenation and result in birth asphyxia. Below are a few common causes of this issue:

  • Umbilical cord problems
  • Fetal monitoring errors
  • Trauma
  • Anesthesia mistakes
  • Premature birth
  • Ruptured uterus
  • Delayed delivery
  • Mismanaged maternal conditions
  • Misuse of birthing tools

Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)

If the birth asphyxia is severe enough, a baby could develop hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) soon after birth. HIE is a brain injury that can turn to permanent damage and result in long-term conditions, such as cerebral palsy. Signs that a baby may have HIE include:

  • Seizures
  • Hypotonia
  • Poor feeding
  • Depressed level of consciousness
  • Organ problems, involving the liver, lungs, heart, etc.
  • Poor brain stem reflexes, such as breathing and heart problems

Seizures must be quickly diagnosed and treated because they can advance the spread of brain damage. In addition, babies experiencing heart problems often require cardiac drugs, while those with breathing issues must be connected to breathing tubes and machines. Failure to perform these actions can worsen the long-term effects of birth asphyxia.

Contact a Birth Injury Attorney Today

Sadly, HIE is estimated to occur in about two to nine per 1,000 live births, making it the most common type of neonatal neurological function issue in newborns. Roughly 10-60% of babies with HIE die in the newborn period, and at least 25% go on to live with significant brain damage and long-term neurodevelopmental impairments.

If you believe your child developed HIE as the result of a birth injury, please contact our San Antonio medical malpractice lawyers at the Tom Rhodes Law Firm P.C. today. No matter how complex your legal crisis may seem, we have what it takes to provide aggressive and high-powered legal representation. We handle cases in Texas and nationwide.

Call (210) 265-6543 or contact us online to speak to one of our representatives.

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