HIE From Labor and Delivery Errors: Oregon Birth Injury Lawyers

oregon birth injury lawyers HIE hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy labor and delivery errors

Understanding HIE From Labor and Delivery Errors and Medical Malpractice: Oregon Birth Injury Lawyers Explain


Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy is one of the most debilitating and damaging birth injuries that a child could sustain. Also known as HIE, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy is a type of brain damage due to decreased blood flow bringing rich, oxygenated blood to the baby’s brain. The longer that the hypoxic condition continues, the more damage to the newborn’s brain that will occur. This damage causes lesions in the brain which are irreversible and incurable. While hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy could have occur at any time during the pregnancy, the most common time for each HIE to cause damage to a newborn is during the labor and delivery process. This is also the most common time that HIE from labor and delivery errors could occur. Our Oregon birth injury lawyers explain some of the common causes of labor and delivery errors resulting in hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy to newborn children.


What is HIE?  What Damages Can it Cause?


Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy his brain damage to a newborn caused by a decrease in oxygen to the newborn’s brain. This decrease in oxygen is caused by a decreased flow of blood. It is this flow of blood which is what carries fresh oxygen to the baby’s brain. A newborn’s brain is rapidly developing and any decrease in oxygen can result in severe personal injuries, even if just for a few minutes. This is particularly true during the labor and delivery process.


The damages caused by hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy are permanent and can be incredibly debilitating. One of the common damages that HIE can cause are damages to the basal ganglia and cerebellum. Both of these parts of the brain govern movement. A newborn that has suffered damage to these parts of the brain is likely to develop cerebral palsy. Damages to other parts of the brain caused by hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy could result in other developmental delays and learning disabilities. When ever a child is diagnosed with any hypoxic or anoxic injury, it is a very serious issue and needs to be immediately treated and addressed.


Common Causes of HIE From Labor and Delivery Errors


There are many possible causes of hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy that could occurred during the labor and delivery process. This process is when contractions have started any mother begins to deliver the baby. While most healthcare providers do an excellent job of caring for the mother and the baby, labor and delivery errors are common and do close significant or catastrophic injuries.


Some of the most common causes of labor and delivery errors resulting in hypoxic scheme and encephalopathy include the following:


  • Failing to properly monitor the baby’s heart rate – one of the most basic things for labor and delivery nurses and physicians to do is tomorrow they’re the fetal heart rate. This is because a baby’s heart rate is the clearest indicator of what is going on. For example, if a baby’s heart rate increases rapidly it is a clear sign that the baby maybe under the stress. Whereas if they baby’s heart rate is dropping rapidly it may mean the baby is suffering from a hypoxic injury or is suffering some kind of other abnormality or injury. It is very easy for healthcare providers to monitor a baby’s heart. Therefore, the failure to properly monitor a baby’s heart rate could be negligent in and of itself, but it is most likely to lead to other injuries which could be negligent.
  • Failing to react to prolonged labor – generally, the longer that a mother is in labor the longer that the baby is under duress. Therefore, if labour has stalled by failing to produce productive contractions and failing to progress the baby down the birth canal or efface of the cervix, it could be a prolonged labor. The standard of care for a mother and the baby going through prolonged labor is to order a C-section. However, most family care practitioners cannot perform a C-section and therefore do not get credit for the natural birth. Rather the OB/GYN performing the C-section to get that credit. Thus, many family care practitioners and their nurses or other assistants hold off as long as they can to try and deliver the baby. This only puts the baby and the mother at greater risk for hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy and other serious birth injuries.
  • Improper use of extraction tools – when a healthcare provider uses forceps or vacuum extraction tools and improper or excessive manner, it can result in serious personal injuries to a baby. This is particularly true to the baby’s head and neck which could result in a decreased flow of oxygen to the brain. This is what can cause HIE.
  • Improper attempt at a vaginal delivery – a baby is too big for the birth canal or the mother’s pelvis is too small to deliver the baby safely, it is improper for a healthcare provider to attend a vaginal delivery because the risk of shoulder dystocia, a traumatic birth, or other serious complications is significant. This includes hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy which could be be caused by pressure to the umbilical cord or on the baby as he or she tries to squeeze down a birth canal where around the pelvis that is simply too small to deliver him or her.


If Your Child Was Diagnosed with HIE, Have Our Oregon Birth Injury Lawyers Review Your Medical Records


If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice contact the Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form.  We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover. 


Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton,  Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles,  St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.  


We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take medical malpractice cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.  


Please act quickly, there is a limited time (Statute of Limitations) in which you can bring a claim under the law.

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