Ohio HIE Lawyers
Many parents whose babies receive a diagnosis of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) don’t know that it is often associated with medical malpractice. Knowing what causes HIE and associated risk factors can help parents better understand what happened during labor and delivery.
What is HIE?
Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is a type of brain injury caused by insufficient flow of oxygenated blood to the brain. The incidence of HIE has been estimated to be about 1.5 per 1,000 live births, and it accounts for 23% of neonatal deaths worldwide. Survivors of HIE may go on to develop conditions such as cerebral palsy (CP), seizure disorders like epilepsy, and intellectual and developmental disabilities. In many cases, HIE is associated with medical malpractice during late pregnancy, labor and delivery, or the neonatal period.
HIE and Medical Malpractice
HIE can be caused by numerous factors, but it can be prevented. Doctors and other medical staff may not correctly follow standards of care and consequently make an error during pregnancy, birth, and/or delivery. If it were not for their error, the HIE may not have occurred.
Getting Legal Help in Ohio
Not only is a birth injury emotionally difficult for a parent, but the added financial costs for the care their child needs can be overwhelming. A birth injury lawsuit can obtain justice on behalf of your child. A lawsuit gives the chance to secure financial compensation and ensure they’re taken care of for the rest of their life. However, there is a time limit to file a lawsuit, known as a statute of limitations.
It’s important to speak with a birth injury attorney as soon as malpractice is suspected. The statute of limitations varies state-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 or negligence occurred in. In Ohio, you have one year from the date of the injury to file a parental claim regarding a birth injury case. Claims filed on behalf of the injured child must be made by their 19th birthday.
Additionally, 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.
Attorneys at ABC Law Centers exclusively have handled birth injury since 1997. We have an established network of trustworthy attorneys across the country and have first-hand experience working with co-counsel in Ohio on these cases.
Our unique focus on birth injury allows us to provide both knowledge on the complicated medical aspects of these cases and the compassion each family needs for their case. We know how difficult this time can be for your family, which is why we are here to answer your questions and help you secure care for your child.
Signs and Causes of HIE
It can be difficult to recognize if your child’s HIE diagnosis was due to malpractice. Additionally, it can look different based on each individual case. However, there are numerous risk factors for HIE. We commonly find the following complications and conditions present in HIE cases:
- Abnormal fetal position/presentation
- Anesthesia errors
- C-section errors and delays
- Cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD) and Macrosomia
- Fetal monitoring errors
- Failure to recognize signs of fetal distress
- Fetal stroke
- Forceps and vacuum extractor injuries
- High-risk pregnancy (e.g. one involving gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, or obesity), especially if mismanaged
- Infections in newborns or maternal infections
- Intracranial hemorrhages (brain bleeds)
- Low birth weight (LBW)
- Meconium aspiration syndrome (MAS)
- Neonatal breathing mismanagement
- Oligohydramnios (low amniotic fluid) or polyhydramnios (excessive amniotic fluid)
- Placental complications
- Postterm pregnancy
- Premature rupture of membranes (PROM)
- Preterm birth
- Prolonged and arrested labor
- Umbilical cord issues
- Uterine tachysystole/hyperstimulation (often resulting from the misuse of contraction-enhancing drugs called Pitocin and Cytotec)
- Twins/multiples birth
- Vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC)
What can parents do if their child has been diagnosed with HIE?
The most important thing that parents or caregivers can do is to secure therapy (e.g. physical therapy, occupational therapy, and/or speech therapy) for their child at a very young age. The earlier a child gets therapy, the larger their functional gains could potentially be. The second step would be to speak with a birth injury attorney, because a birth injury verdict or settlement could help pay for the costs of the child’s care that aren’t covered by medical insurance.
About ABC Law Centers
Attorneys at ABC Law Centers focus solely on birth injury cases and have a network of renowned medical, economic and forensics experts at our side. Our attorneys are consistently recognized for their hard work in the birth injury arena and we have an extensive track record in providing services to families affected by birth injuries. We provide personalized attention to our clients and keep them informed throughout each step of the legal process.
We help secure parents’ peace of mind knowing their children will be well-cared for throughout their lives. Call us for a free, no-obligation consultation. We will always keep your information completely confidential.
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Video: Ohio hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) attorneys
- Kurinczuk, J. J., White-Koning, M., & Badawi, N. (2010). Epidemiology of neonatal encephalopathy and hypoxic–ischaemic encephalopathy. Early human development, 86(6), 329-338.
- What is the global prevalence of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE)?