Medical Malpractice and Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)

Delivering a healthy baby is a complex medical process, with the actual birth of the child being the last stage of a months-long endeavor that is primed for mistakes and miscalculations by even the most experienced medical professionals. When cases of medical malpractice exist with regard to the labor and delivery of a newborn, the results can be devastating, and victims are often left needing compensation for staggering financial losses.

Read on for information on Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE), a common form of birth injury that often results from cases of medical malpractice.

The Basics of Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)

Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) refers to a reduced supply of oxygen and blood to a newborn child at birth. HIE requires immediate treatment, as damage to the brain or other organs can be permanent or even fatal. When the brain or any organ suffers a reduced supply of oxygen and blood flow for any amount of time, serious complications can result. According to the HIE Help Center, HIE is the fifth leading cause of death worldwide for children under 5 years old.

Common Causes of HIE

In many cases, HIE is the result of a personal injury suffered at birth, such as a medical complication or an instance of medical malpractice.  Risk factors and causes of HIE include:

  • The mismanagement of a high-risk pregnancy
  • Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR)
  • Uterine rupture during the delivery process
  • Mismanagement of the umbilical cord during delivery
  • Errors in fetal monitoring during labor and delivery
  • The delayed response in declaring an emergency C-section
  • General neonatal health mismanagement throughout the term of the pregnancy

Many causes of HIE are the result of cases where medical malpractice was the determining factor in the lack of sufficient oxygen to the newborn’s brain and organs.

When a person suffers a personal injury due to a healthcare provider’s mismanagement or medical malpractice, they may be able to recover compensation for the costs associated with their injuries by pursuing litigation. In these cases, speaking with a personal injury attorney is a highly advisable action for victims.

Medical Malpractice Litigation and The Medical Standard of Care

The medical standard of care is typically defined as the level and type of care that a reasonably competent and skilled healthcare professional with a similar background and in the same medical community would have provided under the circumstances that led to the alleged instance of medical malpractice.

Personal injury attorneys will work with medical experts to obtain and present a medical standard of care to a court. This document can be used to help prove that the defendant failed to meet the accepted standard of care and caused injuries to the baby.

The law regarding medical malpractice acknowledges that sometimes, a healthcare facility or professional makes a mistake. In order for this to amount to a case of medical malpractice, the medical treatment has to fall below an accepted medical standard, and the substandard treatment must result in harm to the patient.

Professional Legal Counsel in New Jersey

For years, the attorneys at Ferrara & Gable have been helping victims of medical malpractice in New Jersey as they fight for compensation for their injuries. Contact Ferrara & Gable today for insight into your case.