Hypoxic Ischemic Injury at Birth and Medical Malpractice By Younker Hyde Macfarlane on March 12, 2020

Newborn babyHypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is a type of brain damage that can occur when an infant’s brain fails to receive adequate blood and oxygen. A hypoxic ischemic injury at birth may result in long-term damages that affect a child for life.

Many HIE injuries are the result of medical malpractice. If medical malpractice leads to an HIE injury, the child’s family has a right to seek financial compensation for resulting damages. The birth injury attorneys at Younker Hyde Macfarlane understand the hardships associated with an HIE injury. Our legal team will work hard to get our Salt Lake City, UT, clients the maximum compensation they are due so that they can focus on taking care of their child.

Causes of Hypoxic Ischemic Birth Injury

HIE can occur either before a child is born, during labor, or in the early postpartum stages. A hypoxic ischemic birth injury generally refers to those cases of HIE that are a result of some type of complication during labor or birth. Potential causes of a hypoxic ischemic birth injury include:

  • Rupture of the placenta or uterus
  • Excessive bleeding from the placenta
  • Extremely low maternal blood pressure
  • Complications with the umbilical cord (such as it being wrapped around the infant’s neck)
  • Abnormal fetal position
  • Prolonged labor
  • Brain or skull trauma

Effects of HIE

There are varying degrees of HIE injury. If a child suffers from a mild HIE injury and it is treated promptly, there may be no long-term effects for the child. Unfortunately, moderate and severe forms of HIE do often result in effects that can impact all areas of a child’s life. Problems that commonly affect those of our Salt Lake City clients who have suffered severe HIE include:

  • Developmental delays
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Compromised motor skills
  • Epilepsy
  • Shortened lifespan

Because many of the effects of HIE are related to a child’s cognitive skills, neurological skills, and motor skills, the full effects of HIE may not be apparent until a child is three to four years of age, and exhibits signs of being developmentally behind.

How Do I Know if HIE Was the Result of Medical Malpractice?

Doctors and medical professionals are held to a certain standard. While no medical professional is expected to be able to cure, treat, or prevent all medical issues, they are expected to provide care that is consistent to the care that would be provided by a similarly trained medical professional who was faced with the same situation. A failure to provide that degree of care is defined as medical malpractice.

For those outside the medical field, it can be difficult to recognize medical malpractice. Parents who are in the middle of a traumatic birth are unlikely to know how the medical team should react. If parents even suspect that an HIE injury was the result of medical malpractice, they should contact an attorney.

Our Salt Lake City attorneys have substantial knowledge in birth injuries and types of medical malpractice that can result in these traumas. We will examine all details of a situation and gather evidence to determine if there is a case for medical malpractice. Our goal is to pursue appropriate legal actions so that our clients can focus on healing and recovery.

Contact Us

If you believe that your child has been the victim of medical malpractice, the team of birth injury attorneys at Younker Hyde Macfarlane would be happy to assist you in pursuing legal action. To discuss your case in further detail, send us a message at your earliest convenience or call (801) 335-7025 to schedule a legal consultation.

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Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC

At Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC, our attorneys have decades of combined experience in complex cases. We represent clients in all types of personal injury cases, with a special focus on medical malpractice claims. Our firm is associated with the following professional organizations:

  • Utah Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Salt Lake County Bar Association
  • American Trial Lawyers Association

To schedule an appointment, please contact us online or call (801) 335-6467.

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