Overview of Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy
HIE is characterized by brain injury as a result of asphyxia (lack of oxygen), and it can lead to long-term disability and death in newborns. While it causes brief or permanent neurological changes, the longer the infant goes without appropriate treatment, the more severe the injury.
The symptoms of HIE are characterized according to activity, blood, movement and organ systems.
- Activity - sleepiness, difficulty feeding and irritability;
- Blood - clotting difficulties, bloody urine and stool;
- Movement - floppiness, stiffness, seizures and abnormal movements;
- Organ systems - abnormal heart rate, low blood pressure, breathing trouble and liver function abnormalities.
In many cases, the cause of HIE is unknown. The lack of oxygen or blood flow can happen before, during or after birth. Among the conditions that could lead to insufficient oxygen or blood flow are:
- ruptured uterus;
- placental bleeding;
- premature separation of the placenta;
- seizures or shock in the mother; and
- umbilical cord accidents.
Many of the conditions listed above could be the result of doctor negligence, which is why you should contact an Austin birth injury lawyer if your baby is suffering with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. A Texas injury firm will help conduct extensive investigations to determine why your baby has HIE. If negligence can be proven, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and emotional anguish in a birth defect lawsuit.
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