Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is a type of brain damage that occurs when an infant’s brain does not receive adequate oxygen and blood. A child diagnosed with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) due to an error made during birth or during the prenatal period can be devastating and lead to lifelong challenges.
The term breaks down as follows:
Hypoxic: Lack of oxygen
Ischemic: Reduced blood flow
Encephalopathy: Disorder or disease of the brain
HIE can result from a variety of events or conditions before, during, or after birth, including:
Diagnosing hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) involves a combination of clinical observations, laboratory tests, and imaging studies. Several factors, such as evidence of acidosis, MRI findings, and Apgar scores, can help establish a diagnosis of HIE.
Clinical examination of the baby’s neurological status, including tone, reflexes, and activity level, can also provide clues about potential brain injury.
Electroencephalogram (EEG) to check for seizure activity and evoked potentials to measure the electrical activity in the brain in response to stimuli can also provide information related to brain function and potential injury.
Diagnosing HIE requires a comprehensive approach, considering all the aforementioned factors. Once a diagnosis is made, timely interventions, such as therapeutic hypothermia, can be initiated to potentially improve outcomes. Collaboration between neonatologists, radiologists, and pediatric neurologists is often essential for accurate diagnosis and management.
Symptoms can vary depending on the severity of the injury and which part of the brain is affected. However, common long-term symptoms of HIE include:
It’s essential to note that not all babies with these symptoms have HIE, and some babies with HIE might not display obvious symptoms immediately after birth. Early intervention and timely medical assessment can help improve outcomes for babies with suspected HIE. As the child grows, various therapies, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, or speech therapy, may benefit children with HIE-related challenges.
Seeking the expertise of an attorney in cases of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) can be vital for several reasons:
The attorneys at Ikuta Hemsesath have decades of experience in litigating medical malpractice lawsuits and obtaining favorable results on behalf of our clients. Medical malpractice lawsuits, particularly HIE lawsuits, can be complicated and difficult. Our attorneys have the necessary knowledge and experience to achieve the best possible outcome.
Get in touch today, and take the first step towards reclaiming your peace of mind.
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