Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy

Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)

Holding Physicians Accountable for Preventable HIE Injuries in Michigan

Caused by a lack of oxygen and blood flow during childbirth, Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) is a dangerous neonatal condition that involves significant damage to the brain. It’s estimated that HIE affects as many as 20 out of 1,000 live births – and in many cases, the brain damage sustained during childbirth is considered to be preventable. If your child's injuries were caused by physician negligence, our attorneys at Grewal Law PLLC can help you with the process of filing an HIE injury claim in Michigan.

Our Michigan legal team has offices in Okemos, Northville, and Grand Rapids. Call (888) 211-5798 today or contact us online for a free consultation.

Signs and Symptoms of HIE

According to research, birth asphyxia (oxygen deprivation) causes at least 23% of all neonatal deaths, and HIE is also the fifth largest cause of death for children under 5 across the world. While not all instances of oxygen deprivation will lead to Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy, those that are particularly severe will cause lasting brain damage and lead to an array of other conditions down the line.

HIE is often identified by the following symptoms:

  • Inability to latch or feed
  • Excessive amounts of acid in bloodstream
  • Bluish skin tone and other discolorations
  • Seizures
  • Fatigue and lethargy
  • Labored breathing
  • Low muscle tone and limpness
  • Coma
  • Organ damage

When untreated or severe, HIE can lead to the following conditions later in life:

  • Cerebral palsy (CP)
  • Seizure disorders, such as epilepsy
  • Speech and learning disorders
  • Motor disabilities
  • Vision and hearing problems
  • Lack of sensory processing

Common Causes of HIE

Because HIE is caused by oxygen deprivation, there are many ways that this injury can occur during pregnancy and delivery, as this process can come with severe health risks for both mother and child. From intrauterine asphyxia to heightened maternal blood pressure, some of these issues are a direct result of physician negligence, as medical professionals have a responsibility to carefully monitor vital signs and offer appropriate treatment as issues arise.

Some of the most typical causes of HIE include:

  • Maternal cardiac disease, diabetes, and other pre-existing conditions
  • Anesthesia errors
  • C-section errors and delays
  • Preeclampsia, or high maternal blood pressure
  • Excessive force on the infant’s skull and brain
  • Prolonged or delayed labor process
  • Poor positioning of the fetus in the birth canal or uterus
  • Umbilical cord strangulation
  • Maternal infection and sepsis

Additionally, because there are now “brain cooling” techniques that can halt the spread of infant brain damage, physicians have a responsibility to seek prompt treatment upon realizing that a newborn has HIE. Also called “therapeutic hypothermia,” brain cooling dramatically reduces the risks of more serious conditions and disabilities, such as cerebral palsy (CP).

Although little can truly compensate your family for your losses, our Michigan HIE injury attorneys can apply over 100 years of legal experience to help hold negligent physicians and OB-GYNs accountable for their actions. Medical professionals have a responsibility to avoid causing birth injuries, and when they do not meet this responsibility, they could be financially liable to cover your child’s past and future medical expenses, as well as any other losses suffered by your family as a result of this injury.

Do you believe that your infant’s HIE may have been caused by physician negligence? Contact the Michigan HIE injury lawyers at Grewal Law PLLC today to explore your options.