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HIE Birth Injury Lawyer

Doctors and hospital staff who help deliver babies have a responsibility to keep newborns reasonably safe from harm during the birthing process. When they don’t follow through on these obligations, issues can arise that prevent the baby from getting enough oxygen during birth. As a result, the newborns may suffer from hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy or HIE. This condition can have devastating impacts on the baby’s ability to grow up and live a happy, healthy life like their peers.

Snyder Law Group is here for you if your baby experiences brain damage or developmental delays because of HIE during birth. We understand how heartbreaking it can be to lose a child or for your child to get seriously injured because of the careless actions of a doctor, nurse, or hospital. A Baltimore birth injury lawyer on our team is here to help you stand up against the injustices you and your baby have experienced.

What Is HIE?

According to the Cleveland Clinic, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy is where the baby’s brain doesn’t get enough oxygen during fetal development or birth. It can be mild, moderate, or severe. As the National Library of Medicine discusses, even mild HIE can cause developmental delays, neurological problems, and seizures.

What Are the Causes of HIE?

According to the Cleveland Clinic, HIE can be caused by delivery-related complications like the following: 

  • Placental abruption,
  • Nuchal cord (where the umbilical cord wraps around the baby’s neck),
  • Umbilical cord prolapse (where the cord emerges before the baby does), and
  • A ruptured uterus.

These and other complications interrupt the baby’s ability to breathe or prevent its brain from accessing a healthy blood supply. As a result, the baby’s body and brain become distressed. Before, during, and after the delivery, the infant’s doctors should watch for signs of distress and umbilical cord-related complications. Additionally, the medical team should respond to these signs in a timely and appropriate manner to avoid complications.

What Are the Symptoms of HIE?

HIE can cause a wide range of symptoms. Physical signs of HIE include blue or gray-colored skin, difficulty breathing, a floppy (hypotonia) or tense (hypertonia) muscle tone, and weakened reflex responses. Additionally, the baby may have a weak or otherwise abnormal cry, feeding challenges, or seizures.

How Is HIE Diagnosed?

As the National Institute of Health explains, doctors may use a number of diagnostic tools to figure out if a newborn has HIE:

  • Spinal fluid and blood tests, 
  • Ultrasounds, 
  • MRIs and EEGs, 
  • Apgar tests.

Doctors may not diagnose the baby with HIE until later. The reason for this is that the baby may be showing life-threatening signs right away. So, the medical team will want to address those first and stabilize the baby’s condition. Once the newborn is no longer in immediate distress, their healthcare providers may perform diagnostic tests.

Can a Baby Recover From HIE?

Babies can recover from HIE; however, it depends on the severity of their condition. What’s more, infants who survive HIE may still have to live with lifelong consequences of oxygen deprivation. For instance, according to the National Institute of Health, HIE survivors may have epilepsy, cerebral palsy, or an intellectual disability. Additionally, they might have heart or lung issues or experience developmental delays.

Suing a Doctor or Hospital for Causing HIE

If a doctor’s mistakes are the reason your baby has HIE, you may be entitled to file a medical malpractice action against them. For example, the delivery nurses may not have responded quickly enough to signs of fetal distress. Or, the doctors may ignore the signs of the mom’s dangerously high blood pressure (preeclampsia). As a result, the mom may have a seizure—eclampsia—before or during delivery. 

Under Maryland law, you may sue a healthcare provider—such as a delivery team—if they committed medical malpractice. Broadly speaking, medical malpractice occurs if the doctor’s actions (or inaction) go against standard practices by other professionals in that field. 

For example, if the providers don’t properly monitor the baby’s heart rate, they may miss signs that the infant is losing oxygen. If you believe this type of mistake is what led to your baby’s condition, you may have a claim. 

A seasoned birth injury lawyer can help you determine if you qualify to seek a settlement and what you need to do to kickstart this process. For example, they can research the statute of limitations — found in Maryland’s laws—and figure out what your deadline is to sue the negligent doctor or hospital.

Snyder Law Group: Baltimore Birth Injury Lawyers Ready to Fight For You

No child should lose their life or have their life permanently changed because of a doctor or hospital’s mistake. Snyder Law Group is ready to fight for you if your child suffers from HIE because of a mistake during birth. 

Michael Snyder takes pride in being able to help individuals and families recover after a trauma, such as a birth injury. His dedication and compassion have earned him a position on the Maryland Super Lawyers list for many years. Contact an HIE birth injury lawyer on our team today by calling 410-755-5829 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to talk about your situation and how we can help.

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