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Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy as the Basis for a Medical Malpractice Case

Apr 23, 2015 | Medical Malpractice

You have just delivered your baby, and the doctor has given you shocking news that your baby has brain damage, and uses the term hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. You should know what this means since it could be due to the carelessness of the doctor who delivered your baby.

What is Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy?

Hypoxia means a lack or decrease of oxygen, Ischemia means a diminished amount of blood flow, and encephalopathy is something to do with the brain or an injury that has occurred to the brain. Hence, all three words together, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy would mean there was a decrease of blood flow and a decrease in the amount of oxygen that reached the baby’s brain. Due to this, the baby is now suffering from some type of brain damage.

Some Results of Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy

Once the baby has been diagnosed with brain damage at the time of birth, many things can occur. One of the typical things is the baby can have delayed milestones, which means the baby may not reach certain milestones that normal children reach, as the baby grows older.

For instance, the baby might not be able to crawl, or might not be able to walk, or might not be able to vocalize and speak when it is supposed to. These things might be a little delayed or they might not occur for a long time. Certain things might not happen at all, and the individual might be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his or her life.

Therefore, after this diagnosis you will have to get your baby further care and treatment. There might be problems with your child’s ability to learn, and you will have to get speech therapy, occupational therapy, or any specific therapy related to your child’s inabilities.

Should You Consult a Medical Malpractice Lawyer?

Certain things might have occurred during the time of labor and delivery, which might worry you now. Maybe the baby was born with seizures, or the baby was born blue, not breathing, and had to be resuscitated. Later on, the doctor informs you that your baby has hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, which is a type of brain damage. Now, you are wondering whether there was anything done wrong or whether you were not provided the basis standards of medical care in your situation.

Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy is a known risk at the time of delivery. However, you also need to know whether everything was done right by the doctor and hospital staff while they were delivering your baby. There is a possibility that something might have gone wrong during the delivery, which could have cut off blood and oxygen supply to your baby’s brain for period a short time which resulted in hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy.

It is therefore important to know what procedures were carried out, and what the doctor did, especially if you had a difficult delivery.

You may not know the details, but if you have doubts, then it is best to consult an experienced medical malpractice attorney and have your case investigated.