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Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)

San Francisco Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy Lawyers

Holding Physicians Accountable for Infant Brain Damage and HIE

When an infant’s brain is deprived of oxygen and blood for too long, the infant may develop Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy, or HIE for short. A leading cause of death, disability, and impairment among infants, HIE can often be attributed to preventable medical mistakes during the childbirth process.

If your child has developed injuries or disabilities as a result of a physician’s negligence, you have the right to hold them accountable through the civil justice system. Our San Francisco HIE attorneys at Rouda Feder Tietjen & McGuinn have been serving clients since 1980, and we are completely committed to helping families receive fair compensation after enduring medical malpractice. With the help of our team, you may be able to seek financial recovery for your child’s current and future medical costs, as well as any emotional losses suffered during this difficult time.

To get started with a free consultation, contact Rouda Feder Tietjen & McGuinnat (415) 940-7176 today.

What Causes HIE?

Similar to other forms of neonatal and infant brain injury, HIE may develop when the baby’s brain is starved of oxygen-rich blood. Unlike some other forms of brain damage, however, HIE is most commonly linked to medical malpractice, as many of the causes are considered to be entirely preventable in modern medicine.

Any of the following examples of negligence can result in a Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy diagnosis:

  • Lack of proper care during a high-risk pregnancy
  • Maternal preeclampsia or infection
  • Umbilical cord strangulation before and during childbirth
  • Placental abruption and other complications
  • Uterine rupture
  • Delayed C-section procedures
  • Lack of sufficient fetal monitoring

It’s estimated that up to 1.5 out of 1,000 births result in a neonatal HIE diagnosis, with even higher incidence rates of birth asphyxia in developing countries. Although mild cases of HIE may not develop into serious conditions or problems, moderate to severe instances can result in a wide range of life-altering conditions, and may even cause premature death.

Conditions commonly linked with severe HIE:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Developmental disorders and cognitive impairment
  • Blindness and deafness
  • Epilepsy and seizure disorders
  • Motor and behavioral disorders

What Damages Can I Seek for HIE?

Doctors and OB-GYNs have a duty to meet the “standard of care” for every patient that they see. While some birth complications are not avoidable, others are considered to be treatable and manageable by the medical industry. If your physician or medical staff failed to meet the care standard for your particular situation, they can be held financially liable for your losses in a civil lawsuit.

Of course, birth injury is a complicated area of the law, and it’s vital to hire an attorney with experience in this specialized practice area. To prove that a birth injury was preventable, you will need to rely on strong expert testimony from trustworthy medical practitioners, as well as detailed accounts of your pregnancy plan, medical procedures, and any treatments sought after the baby’s diagnosis.

If found to be negligent, your physician may be liable for the following damages:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Lifetime medical costs for your child
  • Medical costs for related maternal complications and injuries
  • Disability accommodations (such as in-home care assistance, home modification, etc.)
  • Special education costs for your child
  • Physical and emotional pain and suffering
  • Counseling and therapy

Do you need to speak with a skilled San Francisco HIE attorney today? Contact us at (415) 940-7176 for a free consultation with our caring team.

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