Part 3: Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy
While there are a number of different injuries that an infant can sustain at birth, one of the more common conditions that can arise is hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, or HIE. This is a condition that impacts roughly every 20 out of 1,000 full-term births.
When a baby is born prematurely, the number increases, and the incident rate is nearly 60% of all live births.
For parents, or expecting parents, understanding what hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy is, the potential causes, and symptoms can be very important. Here are some of the things you should know about HIE.
What Is It?
HIE occurs when there is a lack of blood and oxygen supply to the brain. It causes a brain dysfunction and there are numerous symptoms that may be present. Discovering HIE comes in the form of various tests such as CT scans, MRI scans, ultrasounds, or echocardiography.
What Are Some of the Symptoms to Look For?
There are various symptoms that may be noticeable right away that could indicate the presence of HIE. These can range in severity and are often categorized as mild, moderate, and severe, and the next steps are determined from there.
Some of the symptoms to be aware of include the following:
- Low heart rate
- Excessive acid in the baby’s blood
- Poor muscle tone
- Pale skin
- Difficulty breathing
- Meconium-stained amniotic fluid
If any of these symptoms are present, the testing will be used to confirm that the baby does in fact have this condition. HIE can result in the child having developmental issues, motor deficiencies, cognitive problems, epilepsy, and more.
What Are the Common Causes?
When it comes to HIE, negligence can play a factor in the cause. This is because certain factors during labor or immediate following the birth can play a role. For instance, if the labor is prolonged or umbilical cord accidents occur due to lack of proper monitoring, it can lead to the baby developing HIE.
Similarly after birth, some of the causes of HIE can include trauma to the brain or skull, infections, or low blood pressure.
If medical negligence is the cause of HIE, our Chicago birth injury lawyers at Beam Legal Team work hard to represent the family impacted by this serious condition. We are dedicated to you and your baby’s best interests every step of the way.