Washington, D.C. HIE Lawyers

Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) attorneys in Washington DC

A diagnosis of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) can be stressful for new parents. Understanding more about your child’s diagnosis is the first step towards providing them the care that they need.

What is HIE?

Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is an injury that occurs when a lack of oxygen and blood flow to a baby’s brain at or near the time of birth results in brain injury.

Cells throughout the body require oxygen to survive, especially brain cells. Without proper oxygenation, cells will die. Lack of oxygen and subsequent cell death can result in mental and/or physical disabilities such as intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), learning disabilitiesseizures, HIE and cerebral palsy. The extent and seriousness of the damage depends on the length of time that the baby was without oxygen. Usually, the longer a baby goes without oxygen, the more severe the damage. Significant brain damage can occur in as little as 5 minutes. Roughly 25% of babies born with HIE have significant long-term neurodevelopmental impairments.

HIE and Medical Malpractice

HIE can be caused by numerous factors, but it can be prevented. Unfortunately, an HIE diagnosis is commonly associated with medical malpractice. Doctors and other medical staff may not correctly follow standards of care and consequently make an error during pregnancy, birth, and/or delivery.

Getting Legal Help in Washington, D.C.

A birth injury can be emotionally difficult for a parent, and the added financial costs for their child’s care 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.

As soon as malpractice is suspected, it’s important to speak with a birth injury attorney and understand your options. The statute of limitations differs by state. Some states leave as little as two years from the date of the child’s injury to file a suit for them as a minor, and may provide a different timeline for parents to file their own claim. The statute can also change depending on what kind of facility the malpractice or negligence occurred in. In Washington, D.C., you have 3 years 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 21st birthday.

Birth injury lawsuits can take several years. 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.

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Attorneys at ABC Law Centers: Birth Injury Lawyers have helped advise parents with birth injury cases for over 25 years.

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Causes of HIE

There are many situations during labor and delivery that – if not promptly treated – can cause HIE. These include:

Signs and Symptoms of HIE

It can be difficult for parents to recognize if their child’s HIE was due to malpractice. It can look different based on each individual case. Newborns suspected of HIE will most likely need critical care in a neonatal intensive unit (NICU), specific treatment like head cooling (hypothermia therapy), and will usually have head imaging done. Additional signs and symptoms of HIE at birth may include the following:

Diagnosing HIE

HIE is confirmed through various kinds of tests and brain imaging studies such as MRIs, CT scans, PET scans, ultrasounds, blood glucose tests, arterial blood gas tests, and EEGs. In order to perform these tests, doctors must first suspect HIE. If birth was traumatic or the newborn is exhibiting any of the signs and symptoms above, testing will likely be performed.

About ABC Law Centers: Birth Injury Lawyers

Attorneys at ABC Law Centers: Birth Injury Lawyers solely handle birth injury cases. We have first-hand experience working in Washington, D.C. on birth injury cases involving cerebral palsy. 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.