The birth of your baby is one of the best moments of your life. You have carried it for nine months and look forward to holding, kissing, and nurturing this new bundle of joy. To find out that your newborn has suffered a birth injury can be devastating. Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is a form of brain damage in newborn babies that is caused by oxygen deprivation and limited blood flow. It usually occurs at or near the time of birth. If your baby suffers from this condition, it is possible to treat them with therapeutic hypothermia. This can minimize the risk of permanent brain damage.
The treatment may not work. Your baby may go on to develop permanent health problems, including cerebral palsy, epilepsy, hearing and vision impairment, and cognitive disabilities. It is important to keep in mind that damage from HIE may not become apparent until years after the child is born. You may not notice the long-term effects of HIE until the child struggles to meet milestones such as crawling or walking.
Causes of HIE
A variety of medical complications can lead to HIE. The failure of medical practitioners to do their job can be a cause of it. If your physician fails to properly monitor your health and that of your baby and identify potential problems, then your child can be in trouble at the time of birth.
Here are some other health problems and negligent actions that can increase the risk of HIE:
- Failure to detect and manage conditions such as preeclampsia and gestational diabetes
- Failure to detect the compression of the umbilical cord or other complications
- Failure to detect placental or uterine complications
- Failure to detect infections in the mother
- Improper fetal heart rate monitoring
- Failure to prevent a premature birth
Babies are typically at risk of HIE during complications that arise during the first month of life. Problems such as respiratory distress, jaundice, and neonatal hypoglycemia can lead to this condition. Breathing problems, feeding problems, missing reflexes, seizures, low muscle tone, altered states of consciousness—these are all signs and symptoms of HIE. Your doctor must monitor and properly manage the health of the child in order to reduce the risk of HIE.
Statute of Limitations for HIE
Because the symptoms of HIE do not always show up immediately, the law allows a considerable amount of time for parents to hold doctors accountable. A lawsuit may be filed against a hospital or medical team for brain injuries at any time before the victim’s 10th birthday.
If you discover that your newborn has suffered long-term effects of HIE, then you should hire a Reno traumatic brain injury lawyer and build a case. A Reno personal injury lawyer is the only one who can help you in this instance. The longer the time has passed since the birth the tougher it will be to prove the medical malpractice. However, it will not be impossible. Your Reno personal injury attorney will initiate an investigation into the hospital and the medical team that treated you. Your reno brain injury lawyer will bring in private investigation professionals to gather the evidence needed to prove your case. These individuals will make inquiries into the hospital itself to determine whether such birth injuries have occurred before. They will also track down everyone who was on the medical team that delivered your baby and get statements from them. Your attorney will also bring in an independent medical expert who will look at the medical records from your pregnancy and determine where the doctor went wrong.
Reno brain injury attorneys deal with these types of cases all the time. If your child has suffered complications owing to HIE, then you should contact a personal injury law firm Reno Nevada. You should speak to an attorney from the Law Office of Stephen Osborne.