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Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)

Charleston Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy Lawyers

What is Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)?

Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE), commonly known as birth asphyxia, is when there is a lack of oxygen and blood flow to the baby's brain near the time of birth. Hypoxia-ischemia in the prenatal period can result in various disabilities. A sufficient amount of oxygen is critical to sustain cells within the body, most notably the child's brain cells. When sufficient oxygen is not provided to the brain, the death of these cells can occur. This lack of oxygen (also known as apoxia or hypoxia), can result in mental and physical damage such as mental retardation, developmental disabilities, cerebral palsy and brain damage.

The extent of the damage depends on the length of time that the baby was deprived of oxygen and the condition of the baby prior to the oxygen deprivation. Generally speaking, the longer an infant goes without oxygen or with decreased oxygen, the more severe and permanent the injury will be. If your family is undergoing the stress and pain of seeing your child born with HIE, hire a skilled Charleston attorney to help mitigate some of that stress if their condition is a result of medical malpractice during the birth.

What Signs at Birth Indicate That Your Baby Might Develop Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)?

If you had a normal pregnancy and have no family history of brain disease and one of these situations applies to the birth of your child, it is highly indicative of the possibility that a medical error may have taken place.

Some of the common symptoms of HIE in babies include:

  • Poor coordination
  • Extreme lethargy
  • Seizures in the first days of life
  • Coma
  • No brain stem reflexes (eg. breathing, responding to light)
  • Only blood pressure and heart function reflexes are functioning
  • Cerebral palsy

Call one of our attorneys at Berthold Law Firm, PLLC at (304) 605-2040 to discuss your options.

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