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Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy Birth Injuries: Causes

Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy Birth Injuries: Causes

Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy

Birth injuries in general are devastating. They can leave parents and families reeling with emotion and overwhelmed with questions, concerns, and additional new responsibilities. Having feelings of hurt, anger, and frustration combined with being overcome with learning about treatments and specialized care for a birth injury newborn can lead to exhaustion and more. Parents need support, resources, and guidance, and in most cases that involve birth injury medical malpractice negligence, legal help.

Birth injuries related to hypoxia in particular are multi-faced, with the potential to occur before, during, or after birth. Hypoxic ischemic events can lead to hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), a serious condition caused by interrupted cerebral blood flow and deprivation of oxygen to the brain.1 Research has shown that 40-60% of full-term birth injury infants who are affected by HIE either die by 2 years of age or endure severe disabilities.2 There are a vast number of causes of hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, including3:

Potential Pregnancy-Related Causes

Placental blood flow issues


Drug or alcohol abuse

Maternal diabetes combined with vascular disease

Heart disease

Malformed lungs

Congenital fetal infections

Severe fetal anemia

Potential Causes During Labor & Delivery

Umbilical cord problems

Breech fetal position or other abnormal fetal position

Placenta abruption

Uterine rupture

Extremely low maternal blood pressure

Prolonged timeframe in late-stage labor

Potential Post-Delivery Causes

Extremely premature birth

Serious infection

Severe heart or lung disease

Brain/skull trauma

Excessively low blood pressure in baby

Respiratory failure

Cardiac arrest

Regardless of the cause of an HIE birth injury in a newborn, in cases of provable medical malpractice negligence legal assistance is often sought by parents. Proving medical malpractice negligence in Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy cases present specific legal challenges. Effectively demonstrating that the current established standard of care was not met and therefore resulted in injury to a baby is essential and is often difficult. Hiring an expert attorney or legal team experienced in birth injuries of this type is of utmost importance. Doing so helps to ensure that fair compensation is received by parents for their birth injury negligence settlement so that they can pay for care and services for their child. This is of particular importance when a child’s required care and services will be ongoing.

Meeting with an experienced Florida birth injury lawyer for an initial consultation to discuss your child’s birth injury is an important step. It can be helpful to research information about lawyers who specialize in birth injuries, or if possible, who specialize in Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy cases or the particular type of birth injury affecting your child.

Many lawyers and legal teams offer free initial consultations. At Mallard & Sharp, P.A., we specialize in a wide variety of birth injuries in Miami Florida including Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy. To schedule a free initial consultation with our expert legal team call 877.662.5527 or 305.461.4800.




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