Savannah Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy Attorneys
Advocating for Georgia Infants Affected by HIE
Although childbirth is among the happiest times of a person’s life, there are many issues that can arise when a midwife, doctor, or attending physician is inattentive, careless, or negligent when assisting with child delivery. It is unfortunate, but injuries can and do happen.
One birth injury common to developing countries is hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), which can occur before, during, or immediately after birth. Sadly, HIE can be fatal or have a long-lasting negative impact on your child’s health.
If your child has been affected by HIE, and you have reason to believe that a medical professional’s negligence led to the injury, you could be eligible to file a claim. Our attorneys at Tate Law Group, LLC offer free consultations to individuals facing these circumstances. For more than 25 years, we have remained passionate about protecting the rights of injured infants and have provided all our clients with compassionate, caring, and skillful legal counsel.
Contact Tate Law Group, LLC online today to speak to a Savannah lawyer about your hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy case.
Who Can File a Legal Claim for HIE?
According to studies, for every 1,000 live births, HIE will affect 2 to 3 children in developing countries on an annual basis, making it more common than many people may think. When considering the numerous types of medical malpractices that could lead to oxygen deprivation (and therefore HIE), its prevalence may come as less of a surprise, however.
Preventable causes of HIE include the following failures and missteps on the part of an attending physician or other medical professional:
- Improperly monitored fetal heart rate
- Improperly monitored fetal distress
- Mishandled a breech birth
- Mismanaged a high-risk pregnancy
- Let infections go unaddressed
- Failed to address a prolonged labor
- Failed to prevent a premature birth
- Failed to remedy umbilical cord complications
If your child’s HIE was caused by any of these negligent actions of another, it is very likely that you qualify to file a suit and recover compensation for any damages incurred. These can include medical treatments for your child, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and more. If your child lost their life due to HIE, you may be entitled to file a claim for wrongful death.
We wholly understand that in either of these tragic situations, it can seem daunting to pursue legal action, but a lawyer can greatly ease the stress associated with the civil justice system and help you seek the justice you deserve. We know a legal case cannot undo the harm done to you and your family; however, making the other party answer for what happened can provide much-needed closure and help you move on.
Development and Symptoms of HIE
HIE is primarily caused by a two-stage injury process, which is medically classified as a “reperfusion injury.” Its root cause is a lack of oxygen that leads to a decreased blood flow to the brain. Once remedied, and optimal blood flow to the brain is restored, brain cells that were damaged by the prior lack of oxygen begin releasing toxins. These brain cells will slowly die over the following hours and days, causing more and more damage to the brain.
If a medical professional suspects your child has suffered HIE, they will perform ultrasounds and MRIs on your child to determine whether any brain damage has occurred or is occurring. They may also administer a blood gas test to gauge your child’s blood oxygen level.
With HIE and other brain injuries, it is of the utmost importance to administer treatment as soon as possible to mitigate damage, so it is wise for you to also monitor your child for symptoms of HIE if you believe they experienced oxygen deprivation during the birthing process.
HIE symptoms that may appear shortly after birth include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Irregular or slow breathing
- Low muscle tone
- Difficulty feeding
- Hyperalert or lethargic
- Weak crying
- Symptoms of organ problems
In some cases, HIE does not appear until infancy or early childhood. At these stages of life, symptoms of HIE include:
- Delayed growth
- Hearing issues
- Vision problems
- Impaired motor function
- Seizures or a seizure disorder
- Missed important developmental milestones
Treatment Options for HIE
As mentioned, treatment for HIE should be administered as soon as possible because brain damage is irreversible.
If detected shortly after birth, medical professionals will often treat HIE with therapeutic hypothermia in which they cool the brain and/or body to bring it under room temperature and prevent further damage to the brain. This form of treatment is only effective when used within 6 to 24 hours after the injury was sustained and must be administered for a total of 72 hours. After this, medical professionals will work to help parents and their child with HIE adapt to any symptoms, conditions, or disabilities that arise.
Work with Compassionate Lawyers
At Tate Law Group, LLC, we understand that we cannot turn back time and prevent hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy from affecting your family, but we can help you pursue justice and hold the at-fault party accountable for the harm they have done. To date, we have recovered millions of dollars for injured families in Savannah and throughout the state of Georgia and have been met with much industry acclaim.
Our attorneys are skilled in investigating these types of injuries to substantiate our clients’ cases with evidence of what really happened in the delivery room. If you work with our firm, we will walk you and your family through every step of the claims process and handle the legal red tape. Hire a legal team that truly cares about you and your family.
To schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable Savannah attorney, fill out an online form or call (912) 333-3915.
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