Wednesday, July 20, 2016

What Caused Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy To My Baby?


A number of neurological disorders resulting from brain damage are called cerebral palsy. A person’s ability to control their motions and often their posture can be greatly affected. The majority of these cases are caused by brain damage that occurs during pregnancy, birth or the neonatal period which is the first four weeks of life. Abnormalities in the brain are caused; many of these affect the ability to control the body’s movement. 
One of the most common events that may lead to brain damage at or near the time of birth is oxygen deprivation or hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. (HIE)
Hypo ischemic encephalopathy is the most common form of neonatal encephalopathy (NE) a widely used term describing any impacted neurological function in a newborn. When the brain does not receive adequate oxygenation, cell death occurs resulting in brain damage. It is estimated that for every 1000 live births, two to nine, are affected by HIE. A great percentage of these infants die in the newborn period and approximately 25 percent of them survive with long-term neurodevelopmental impairments. 
Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy is responsible for several types of disabilities and injuries which include cerebral palsy, seizures, intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and learning disabilities. The longer the infant is deprived of oxygen the more severe and permanent the injury. 
The causes of Hypo Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)
HIE can occur from a number of complications and medical errors. Some of the more common causes are the following:
·           Umbilical cord injuries: Complications involving the umbilical cord can cause HIE because they can slow or cut off the transfer of oxygen to the baby. These complications include nuchal cords, when the cord becomes wrapped around the baby’s neck, prolapsed cords, when the cords precedes the baby in the birth canal, and cord compression, when the cord becomes compressed and can no longer carry oxygen.    Placental or uterine problems: These complications may include uterine rupture, placenta previa, when the placenta is attached to the uterine wall in proximity to or covering the cervix, placental abruption, when the placental lining tears partially away from the uterus and placental insufficiency.
·          Tachysystole: Excessive contractions
·          Elevated fetal heart tones
·          Fetal monitoring errors
·          Brain trauma or hemorrhage during delivery
·          Uncontrolled maternal conditions: Hypertension (preeclampsia) or infection
·         Delayed C Section
·         Fetal size or position
·         Low amniotic fluid ( Oligohydramnios)
·         Premature rupture of membranes
·         Premature birth
·         Fetal Stroke
HIE Diagnostic Processes
Hypo ischemic encephalopathy is confirmed by neuroimaging and blood tests including:
·         CT scans
·         MRIs
·         PET scans
·         Blood glucose tests
·         Arterial blood gas tests
·         EEGs
·         Ultrasounds
Medical professionals will begin ordering tests if there is suspicion that a hypoxic ischemic event took place. A traumatic delivery or complications would be reason to begin the diagnostic process. There are instances where the signs of damage do not appear until the child is older and displays impaired motor function, delayed growth or delayed development. 
Treatment of HIE
Until recently treatment of HIE included prevention of further injury with ventilation, NICU care, controlling seizures, blood pressure maintenance, maintaining glucose level and specialized physician care.
Recently, a new therapy has emerged referred to as hypothermia treatment or brain cooling. The new cooling therapy has shown to reduce the severity of HIE. The baby’s temperature is lowered to 91 degrees Fahrenheit for about 72 hours. The metabolic rate is slowed allowing a longer time for cell recovery. It is imperative that this treatment be employed as soon as the HIE is diagnosed.
Retaining a Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy Lawyer
An HIE lawyer must have a knowledge of the laws involving medical malpractice and also medicine. It is paramount that you retain an attorney who is experienced in all types of birth injury cases, especially HIE. The long term effects on a child with HIE can be extremely costly over time. The child may need your constant care into and through adulthood. The care and special needs can have an astronomical cost over time. What if the child outlives you and your spouse? Who will care for him or her? A qualified medical malpractice attorney knows the true value of your case and has the skill and resources to find medical negligence and prove it. 
Dolman Law Group has helped countless families who have a child that was the victim of a birth injury. Our attorneys have understanding and compassion coupled with tenacity. They will fight relentlessly to get you the compensation you deserve. Call today for a confidential, free consultation of your case. The number to call is 727-451-6900.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765
727-451-6900