April Is HIE Awareness Month: Recognizing Birth Injuries

April is HIE Awareness Month, and our law firm would like to review the most important thing you should know about this birth injury and what you can do if your baby suffered from it. Experiencing the birth of a child with HIE is extremely emotionally taxing, and our doctor/lawyer team at Abramson, Brown & Dugan can help you move forward by pursuing full compensation from the negligent physician or hospital staff.

What Is HIE?

A prevalent cause of birth injuries in newborns is oxygen loss during delivery, especially in mothers who have high-risk pregnancies. While some colloquially call these infants “blue babies,” the medical term for oxygen deprivation in a newborn is hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). This lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain is a medical emergency, as it can cause permanent brain damage. he literal meaning of HIE is:

  • Hypoxic: lack of oxygen
  • Ischemic: restricting blood flow
  • Encephalopathy: affecting the brain

Although HIE is still not fully understood, it can be caused by any number of the following:

  • Umbilical cord complications
  • Birth trauma
  • Uterine rupture
  • Labor and delivery problems
  • Delayed C-sections

Treatment options for HIE remain limited, other than brain cooling, which slightly reduces the newborn’s body temperature, lessening the impact of the injury, so the brain can heal itself more efficiently. However, any brain cell death is permanent and has lifelong implications.

The Long-Term Implications of HIE

HIE can be the direct result of mistakes made by your OB/GYN or other medical staff. For instance, breech births make HIE much more likely. Regardless of how or why there was a lack of oxygen to the baby, HIE is a major medical emergency requiring immediate palliative care to minimize existing damage. If the child’s attending pediatrician fails to act quickly or does not properly diagnose HIE in time, the baby can suffer permanent brain damage, or death. Babies who survive often have intellectual disabilities or other cognitive problems.

If HIE is corrected in time to save the baby’s life, HIE can cause the following:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Motor skill impairment
  • Poor muscle tone
  • Acid reflux disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Visual impairment
  • Speech difficulties
  • Swallowing issues

We Can Help! Pursue Justice and Compensation for HIE with Abramson, Brown & Dugan.

If your baby was affected by HIE, you have legal recourse to sue the attending physician(s) or even the hospital that delivered your infant. We understand the complexities of this field of law, and we have won many awards for medical malpractice cases – more than any other law firm in New Hampshire.

We care about you and your family and will fight for maximum compensation so you can get the vital care your baby needs to live a more fulfilling life. Contact us today at (603) 323-4622 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free case evaluation.


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