Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy Caused by Medical Errors

Infants who experience hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy have the risk of developing a permanent disorder, such as cerebral palsy or mental retardation.  If your infant sustained hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, you need to be aware of the possible causes.  This type of birth injury can be the result of a medical mistake or hospital error.

Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy is a term used to describe damage to the cells in the central nervous system, which includes the brain and spinal cord, from lack of oxygen.  This birth injury can cause serious and permanent complications and in some instances, death.  Many parents with children who have hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy are left wondering what caused the catastrophic injury.

When a child sustains hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, it means that his or her brain did not receive enough oxygen, but wasn’t completely deprived.  After only five minutes of oxygen deprivation, brain cells begin to die, which can make this injury fatal.  There are many causes of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, but when this injury occurs during birth, hospitals and doctors are sometimes to blame.

Since lack of oxygen is the cause of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, it is important to examine possible factors that led to the oxygen deprivation.  During the labor and delivery process, any of the following can result in birth injury:

• C-Section was delayed
• Prolonged birth
• Infant in birth canal too long
• Umbilical cord was prolapsed
• Misread fetal heartbeat
• Doctor failed to respond promptly

Once medical personnel realize that the infant has experienced hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, CPR will be administered immediately to restore oxygen flow to the brain and rest of the body.  In some instances, life-sustaining treatment may be needed to restore brain function.  If the infant is having seizures, medication and general anesthesia may be administered to stop the convulsions.

As a parent of a child with brain damage from hypoxic-encephalopathy, it may be difficult to pinpoint exactly what caused your baby’s oxygen deprivation.  You may want to talk with a Virginia medical malpractice lawyer who can review the details of your child’s case to determine if doctor or hospital error caused hypoxic-encephalopathy.  If the doctor or hospital is responsible for the birth injury, you may be able to receive compensation for your child’s injuries.  You may be able to recover damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering and other costs related to your child’s birth injury.  Contact the experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Tavss Fletcher at 757-625-1214 today to review your case.