Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)

Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is a brain injury that occurs when the fetus does not receive enough oxygen. When used to refer to a birth injury sustained by a newborn, it may also be called ‘perinatal encephalopathy.’

Brain cells die when deprived of oxygen, and when they do, long-term brain damage like cerebral palsy and mental retardation may occur. Generally, the longer the infant goes with low oxygen, the more severe the resulting injury will be. While HIE  is preventable in many cases, it can also be irreversible.

At Balkin & Eisbrouch, we understand the devastating impact a brain injury like HIE has on both the child and the family.  Let us help you investigate the cause of your child’s HIE and learn whether medical negligence is to blame.

What causes HIE?

Some of the more common causes of hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy include:

  • Fetal distress
  • Diabetes in the mother
  • Shoulder dystocia
  • Failure to perform a C-section
  • Umbilical cord problems
  • Uterine rupture
  • Placental abruption (placental lining separates from the uterus)

As a result of HIE, the infant may develop epilepsy, motor impairments, cognitive impairments, developmental delays, or cerebral palsy.

Proper medical equipment, qualified personnel, accurate fetal monitoring, and quick, competent reaction on the part of the medical staff are all necessary components of a successful birth. When things go wrong in the delivery room, parents may consider filing an HIE lawsuit.

An HIE lawsuit may help

While a small percentage of children that suffer from HIE go on to live healthy, happy lives, most face a lifetime of health challenges, around the clock care, and overwhelming medical expenses. Compensation awarded in an HIE lawsuit may help recover the significant costs that accompany raising a child with such special needs.

Balkin & Eisbrouch are leading medical malpractice lawyers with over 40 years of experience winning trials and procuring settlements for individuals and families who have been touched by serious birth injuries. Call us now to discuss your case.  Your consultation is free and there is no charge unless we recover damages for you.