When Is an HIE Birth Injury Medical Malpractice?

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HIE – or hypoxic-ischemic brain injury – can be a devastating diagnosis. When the family should be helping their new family member settle in, they may be overwhelmed with medical testing and treatment and struggling to understand what went wrong.

HIE can result from medical malpractice. With victims often needing a lifetime of care, it’s important to consider the possibility of medical malpractice if your child is suffering from HIE. Our medical malpractice lawyers represent families facing an HIE diagnosis. In this article, we explain when an HIE birth injury constitutes medical malpractice.

Is an HIE Birth Injury Medical Malpractice?

An HIE birth injury is medical malpractice when it results from negligent action or inaction on the part of a medical care provider during childbirth. When the injury can be traced to what a healthcare professional did, or failed to do, that a reasonable professional would have done correctly, it is medical malpractice.

What does it mean when an HIE birth injury results from medical malpractice?

If an HIE birth injury results from medical malpractice, the child may deserve financial compensation. The negligent healthcare professional may have a legal liability to the child for medical bills, future care needs, and pain and suffering.

Lawyers for medical malpractice HIE hypoxic-ischemic brain injury claims

The compensation that your child receives can be a welcome relief. It can help your family create a plan for the future. Our lawyers represent families and children suffering from HIE hypoxic-ischemic and other birth injuries. We can help you fight for justice and your child’s future. Contact us today.

About HIE Hypoxic-Ischemic Brain Injury

What is hypoxic-ischemic brain injury?

Hypoxic ischemic brain injury is a brain dysfunction caused by a loss of oxygen in the brain. When it occurs in infants, it may be called birth asphyxia.

HIE is significantly more common in premature births. For the general population, HIE occurs in 3-20 of every 1000 live births. (UF Health, Hypodix-Ischemic Encephalothapy (HIE)).

What are the causes of hypoxic-ischemic brain injury during childbirth?

Some causes of hypoxic-ischemic brain injury during childbirth are:

  • Overuse of Pitocin to induce contractions
  • Baby in breech position
  • Compression or prolapse of the umbilical cord
  • Prolonged labor
  • Pressure from forceps or a vacuum extractor
  • Rupture of the uterus
  • Bleeding from the placenta
  • Low blood pressure in the mother
  • Other trauma to the brain or skull during childbirth

(Source: UCSF, Neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy)

Some cases of HIE could be prevented. If attending healthcare professionals better understood the warning signs or responded to them appropriately, HIE tragically may have been avoided in some cases.

How Can Medical Malpractice Cause HIE in infants?

Examples of medical malpractice that may cause HIE in infants are:

  • Poor fetal heart rate monitoring
  • Failing to respond appropriately to signs of distress
  • Using too much Pitocin during childbirth
  • Not understanding risk factors that may require extra vigilance
  • Failing to appropriately account for a breech position
  • Not diagnosing uterus and umbilical cord abnormalities

As your lawyers, we investigate what happened in your case. We determine if medical malpractice contributed to your child’s injuries. Our team can gather the medical information necessary to prove your child’s injuries, damages and right to compensation.

What are the complications of infant birth asphyxia?

Complications of hypoxic ischemic brain injury or infant birth asphyxia may include:

  • Cardiac arrest
  • Poor reflexes and muscle tone, inadequate reaction to stimuli
  • Lung disease
  • Heart disease, irregular heartbeat
  • Infection, including meningitis or sepsis
  • Low blood pressure
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Premature death
  • Poor use of extremities
  • Coma
  • Learning disabilities
  • Cognitive impairment

The effects of HIE can be mild, moderate or severe. A victim may suffer difficulty in the tasks of everyday living and self-care.

Legal action may be especially important for these children to provide them the financial resources for their medical care, personal care and therapy.

Consultation for HIE Hypoxic Ischemic Brain Injury in Childbirth

If your child is suffering from HIE, we invite you to have a consultation with our medical malpractice lawyers. Let us help you understand your child’s rights and options.

Your child may deserve significant financial compensation. Our understanding and professional lawyers want to help your child and your family. Contact us today for a consultation. Let us answer all your questions and explain how we can help you pursue justice.

The team at Bobby Jones Law LLC works tirelessly for the injured in South Carolina. His achievements include:
  • More than $60 million collected for our clients
  • Multiple recoveries exceeding $1 million, including an eight-figure settlement
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers in America
  • Named among the “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News & World Report
  • Named to the Top 100 Trial Lawyers by The National Trial Lawyers
  • Named to Super Lawyers 2017–2024
  • Member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Selected as Legal Elite of the Upstate 2021–2023
  • Named among Super Lawyers "Rising Stars"
We’re humbled to be considered one of the top firms in the Upstate and invite you to learn what sets our award-winning legal services apart. Call or request a consultation online.
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