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Hypoxic-Ischemic Brain Injury - Medical Malpractice
Hypoxic-Ischemic Birth Injury Lawyers in Cincinnati, OH and Covington, KY
Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is a serious injury that can cause permanent brain damage and even lead to death in some cases. Most often, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy is a type of birth injury caused by medical malpractice but can occur later in life in adults, as well. Whether the injury was caused to an infant during childbirth or to an adult in other circumstances, the results can be devastating.
At The Lawrence Firm, PSC, our attorneys are experienced in handling birth injury lawsuits of all kinds and pursuing claims against all parties responsible for a permanent brain injury such as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. Our dedicated legal team will work to recover compensation on your behalf to help improve your quality of life and to provide for you or your child’s future care needs. With offices in Covington and Cincinnati, our attorneys represent clients throughout Kentucky and Ohio in a range of birth injuries and medical malpractice cases, including hypoxic-ischemic birth injury claims.
If your child suffered a brain injury like hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy due to the medical negligence of a healthcare provider, you may have a medical malpractice lawsuit on your hands. For help with your claim and for your best shot at recovering compensation for your child’s injury, reach out to the Cincinnati birth injury lawyers at The Lawrence Firm today. You can call our Cincinnati office at (513) 651-4130, our Covington office at (859) 578-9130, or toll-free at (800) 698-4054 to schedule your free consultation today.
What is Hypoxic Brain Injury?
A hypoxic brain injury is more formally known as perinatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). Perinatal refers to the time immediately before and/or after birth, while hypoxic means oxygen deprivation and ischemic means a lack of blood flow. Lastly, encephalopathy relates to a disease or damage that affects the brain. So, put together, a hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy injury is a type of injury occurring during the neonatal period of an infant’s life that is caused by a limited oxygen supply and blood flow to the brain.
When the brain cells are deprived of oxygenated blood, the cells’ metabolism declines into an unsustainable oxygen state. A child or adult suffering from cerebral hypoxia requires treatment immediately. If a medical professional does not remedy this situation quickly enough, it can lead to permanent brain injury and developmental delays in the child. As such, healthcare professionals who fail to appropriately address and minimize brain damage caused by hypoxia and ischemia may be held legally responsible for the damages caused to the victim and their families.
Brain Damage from Lack of Oxygen at Birth
Adults suffering hypoxic or ischemic brain injuries may have suffered a misdiagnosed heart attack or stroke, which can lead to their development of such brain injuries. However, cerebral hypoxia and ischemic brain injuries are often the result of a birth injury caused by medical malpractice during labor and delivery. Interruption of blood or oxygen to the baby (perinatal asphyxia or anoxia) can be seen by doctors and nurses on the fetal monitoring strip, and prompt intervention must be taken to prevent injury.
If it is clear the child is in fetal distress due to neonatal encephalopathy, a treatment known as therapeutic hypothermia should be administered. This is when health care providers intentionally induce hypothermia to mitigate the consequences of a lack of oxygen. Failure to provide an early diagnosis and treat the infant by administering targeted brain and whole-body cooling therapy (see: What is Cooling Therapy for Newborns?) can result in serious long-term consequences and permanently damage the baby’s brain, or worse. In some unfortunate cases, failure to identify HIE and/or provide hypothermia therapy or other life-saving treatment can lead to the wrongful death of your child.
Hypoxic-Ischemic Brain Injury Risk Factors
When an unborn child suffers from a lack of oxygen and blood flow to the brain, several risks are presented for both the mother and the baby. The longer the infant goes without oxygen determines the severity of the child’s HIE and how it will affect them, and potentially, the mother. Women who experience a high-risk pregnancy face a higher chance of their child suffering from birth asphyxia and hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.
More specific events that may lead to HIE include:
- Poor oxygen supply to the child’s vital organs
- Poor blood flow to the child’s brain
- Umbilical cord complications, such as a prolapsed cord
- Uterine rupture
- Maternal hypotension (low blood pressure in the mother)
- Preeclampsia (high blood pressure in the mother)
- Placental abruption
- Perinatal stroke
- Cerebral edema
- Failure to perform a C-section
- Physician malpractice
- Nurse-midwife errors
- Blood clots
- Heart complications
- Internal hemorrhaging
If any of these problems (or others) present themselves and the baby does survive childbirth, several complications may occur down the road as the child develops. These complications may include developmental delays, motor and cognitive impairment such as cerebral palsy, mental retardation, epilepsy, and more. However, these early-onset symptoms typically will not present themselves until the child is between 3 to 4 years old.
Why Do You Need a Birth Injury Lawyer for Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy?
Whether a child develops cerebral palsy, epilepsy, or any other physical or mental impairment, hypoxic and ischemic brain injuries (HIE) resulting from negligence can affect victims and their families long after the incident. Medical bills can rack up to the tens of millions of dollars, and without proper compensation for these injuries, families are often left struggling in debt trying to pay for the necessary treatment for their child’s injuries. That is why it is absolutely crucial that those who have been affected by hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy due to a doctor’s medical negligence seek an experienced medical malpractice attorney like those at The Lawrence Firm immediately to help them restore financial security and obtain necessary treatment for their child.
Once you establish an attorney-client relationship with one of our Covington injury attorneys at The Lawrence Firm, we will get straight to work investigating your case. A medical malpractice claim like this requires extensive research and collaboration with medical experts to ensure each necessary element of the claim can be established. These elements include a verified duty of care, a breach of duty, causation of injuries, and clear damages that resulted from these injuries. Your attorney will collect all necessary medical records and utilize their available legal resources to help ensure these elements can be proven and that you retain compensation from the at-fault parties for the damages caused to you or your child.
Your Cincinnati personal injury attorney at The Lawrence Firm will also handle all negotiations and communications with the insurance company and the legal team of the medical professionals responsible, calculate the extent of your damages, file necessary paperwork and documentation, and handle all legal proceedings in and out of the courtroom.
Overall, it is extremely hard to prove medical negligence actually occurred, and your chance at a favorable outcome is seriously decreased without the help of a skilled Ohio or Kentucky medical malpractice attorney. When you secure the help of The Lawrence Firm, we will do everything in our power to help you successfully obtain compensation so you can deal with the aftermath of such a serious brain injury.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Hypoxic-Ischemic Injury Lawsuit?
If an injury occurred due to another person’s negligent or careless actions, the victim and their families may receive what are called “damages.” Damages in a personal injury or medical malpractice case are certain losses that a victim and their family experience due to the injuries caused by another’s negligence. Because brain injuries like hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy often affect an individual for the remainder of their life, the compensation for these cases can get pretty high.
Your legal team will calculate damages based on the financial and emotional losses you experienced as a result of the injury. This may include payment for medical care (including past and future medical expenses, emergency room fees, surgery costs, medical equipment, physical therapy, and more), lost wages and/or loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, mental distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and more.
Contact The Lawrence Firm, PSC for a Free Consultation Regarding Your Birth Injury Claim
If your child has suffered a hypoxic brain injury as a result of medical errors, it is important that you seek experienced local counsel to help you navigate your birth injury claim. Our skilled team of medical malpractice attorneys at The Lawrence Firm can assist you in identifying every party responsible and working to hold them accountable for any losses you may have suffered at their hands. We will fully investigate the case, collect necessary records, consult with witnesses, and contact medical experts to demonstrate your claim.
Throughout the process, our attorneys will remain mindful of your needs and will answer any questions you should have. We will take the time to explore all options and alternatives for your family and take the necessary legal steps to protect your family both now and in the future.
You Pay No Fees Unless We Win!
We are happy to offer a free consultation to evaluate your case. If you hire us as your legal counsel, we will represent you on a contingency-fee basis. You will pay no attorneys’ fees unless we recover financial damages.