Hawaii HIE Lawyers
Many people do not hear about hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) until a loved one is affected. For parents, HIE can be especially difficult to process – HIE is a brain injury that occurs when a baby doesn’t get enough oxygen at birth. Many risk factors and complications during labor and delivery can cause a baby to experience a lack of oxygen. It’s extremely important that medical staff monitor a baby and catch any signs of distress. If they do not address risks or complications in time, it could lead to HIE.
HIE and Medical Malpractice
HIE can be a preventable injury. Unfortunately, it is often associated with medical malpractice. Doctors and other medical staff may not correctly follow standards of care and as a result, they make an error during pregnancy, birth, and/or delivery. HIE is associated with many other injuries. If medical malpractice occurs, often a baby may have multiple diagnoses following the HIE as a result, or injuries leading to permanent disability.
Getting Legal Help in Hawaii
For parents, not only can an HIE diagnosis be emotionally difficult, but the added financial costs from the care their child needs can be overwhelming. A birth injury lawsuit can obtain justice on behalf of your child and also secure the financial compensation they need to ensure they’re taken care of for the rest of their life. However, there is a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit, known as a statute of limitations (SOL).
Speaking with a birth injury attorney as soon as malpractice is suspected is important to ensure your statute does not expire. The SOL differs by state, with some states leaving as little as two years from the date of the child’s injury to file a suit for them as a minor. The statute can also vary depending on what kind of facility the malpractice occurred in and whether the claim is being made by an adult or minor. In Hawaii, the statute of limitations is ten years.
It’s important to know that birth injury lawsuits can take years to litigate. It’s crucial to find an attorney that only handles birth injury. The complexity of the medical records and the law requires experience and the right network of experts.
Signs of HIE
How do you know if your child’s HIE was due to malpractice? It can be difficult for parents to know the signs, especially during such a hectic time. It also differs for each person. However, there are many risk factors for HIE. The following associated complications and conditions are common in HIE cases:
- Signs of fetal distress
- Baby born floppy, unresponsive, and/or with bluish tint to the skin (low APGAR scores)
- Infant seizures
- Baby needs resuscitation
- Trouble feeding; not being able to latch, suck, or swallow
HIE can be noticeable when a newborn baby does not feed or has seizures, but it’s not always obvious. Head imaging like MRIs or CT scans allow doctors to identify the injury, when it occurred, and how long it occurred for. Newborns that have HIE will usually need critical care in a neonatal intensive unit (NICU), specific treatment like head cooling (hypothermia therapy), and will typically have head imaging done.
About ABC Law Centers
ABC Law Centers (Reiter & Walsh, P.C.) exclusively handles birth injury cases, including cases involving HIE. Our unique focus means that we have a thorough knowledge of the complex medical aspects of birth trauma cases. Our firm has a network of renowned medical, economic and forensics experts at our side, and our attorneys have been consistently recognized for their work in birth injury. We do not charge any fees for the entire legal process unless we win.