Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) Attorneys Pittsburgh, PA
Pittsburgh Medical Malpractice Lawyers Helping Parents with HIE Cases in Western PA and Beyond
Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) causes a significant number of neonatal deaths throughout the world, including thousands in the United States. Although good prenatal care can reduce the risk of having a baby with HIE, medical negligence during labor and delivery can erase all the positive benefits of proper prenatal care and leave a baby seriously injured or dead. This is devastating for parents who did all the right things during pregnancy in their efforts to have a healthy child.
Parents whose baby died or suffered serious brain injury because of the negligence of an OB-GYN, nurse, midwife, or other medical professional may find redress through the legal system in Pennsylvania. Parents may be able to file medical malpractice lawsuits to hold the negligent parties responsible and obtain compensation.
At the Pittsburgh law firm of Berger & Lagnese, LLC, our Western PA medical malpractice attorneys undertake cases involving birth injuries such as Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE). We know that money alone will not bring your baby back or restore your baby’s health. However, compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit can help you move forward with your life, care for your injured child, and send a message that the malpractice that caused the injury is not acceptable. To learn how we can help you accomplish these goals, call our Allegheny County law firm today and schedule a free consultation.
Why HIE Occurs During Labor and Delivery
Although almost anything that limits oxygen to the baby’s brain during labor and delivery can cause HIE, the most common causes of HIE are:
- Low maternal blood pressure
- Diabetes in the mother
- Poor fetal lung function
- Poor fetal blood circulation or disrupted blood flow
- Baby’s head is too big to pass through the birth canal, or cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD)
- Stressful or prolonged labor
- Prolapsed umbilical cord
- Placental abruption
Most of these situations can be identified before labor begins, allowing medical personnel to take the appropriate countermeasures. Failure to meet the commonly accepted standards and protocols may constitute medical malpractice. Prenatal care providers should employ the tools available, such as MRIs and other diagnostic and imaging techniques, to diagnose any suspected conditions. If the prenatal care providers do not employ the proper tools and the baby has HIE, they could be held liable for the damage to the child. In addition, if medical personnel do not identify medical or health problems at the time of birth, even if nothing was suspected before, they could also be liable for undiagnosed cases of HIE. Finally, if providers failed to follow the accepted standard of care during birth, they could be liable if the child is later diagnosed with HIE.
Preventing HIE During Birth at Pittsburgh Hospitals
Medical professionals who take the following steps may be able to prevent HIE:
- Be aware of risk factors for HIE.
- Conduct appropriate fetal monitoring.
- Know about any maternal conditions that may be factors in an HIE diagnosis.
- Make sure that an OB-GYN and anesthesiologist are available during the birth.
Failure to follow these steps could constitute medical negligence and expose a Pittsburgh medical provider to liability in the form of a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Conditions Associated with HIE
Babies born with HIE may develop conditions such as:
- Cerebral palsy
- Motor impairments
- Cognitive impairments
- Developmental delays
Medical providers who fail to take the necessary steps to prevent HIE could be found negligent if a baby develops any of these medical conditions.
Call an Experienced Pittsburgh Birth Injury Lawyer After a Diagnosis of HIE
Cases involving HIE are complex, in part because the result of HIE, such as cerebral palsy, may not be diagnosed until later in a baby’s life. That is why it is so important to work with an experienced Pittsburgh medical malpractice attorney to obtain redress and compensation. The Western PA law firm of Berger & Lagnese, LLC has a 40-plus-year history of obtaining significant verdicts and settlements for people injured by medical negligence. Find out how we can help you after HIE injured your baby. Call us or use our online form to schedule your free consultation. Remember, we charge no attorney’s fees until we win your case, so you have nothing to lose by contacting us.