Lifetime Costs of HIE Due to Oregon Medical Malpractice: Explained by Bend/Portland Birth Injury Lawyers

Our Bend/Portland Birth Injury Lawyers Explain the Lifetime Costs of HIE


All birth injuries are horrible, even small or minor ones.  While some may result in a minor inconvenience, other birth injuries can result in costly mistakes.  Not only due to the catastrophic injury to the innocent newborn, but also in terms of finances.  Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, or HIE, is one such birth injury.  HIE is a costly birth injury in terms of the extent of catastrophic damage and the financial costs.  Unfortunately, many instances of HIE are due to reckless, careless, and negligent conduct of healthcare providers that simply should not have occurred.  This means that the physical and financial costs of HIE are unnecessarily thrust onto a family and innocent baby.  Our Bend/Portland birth injury lawyers explain what HIE is and how it is very costly for a family.


What is HIE?


HIE, or hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, is a brain injury caused by a lack of oxygen due to a decrease in blood flow to the baby.  This type of birth injury is a type of fetal asphyxia, meaning a lack of oxygen to the baby.  HIE could happen for a variety of reasons, including excessive contractions, umbilical cord compression or rupture, preeclampsia, or other series complications.  


Many times the effects of a lack of oxygen could be immediately identified, reversed, and alleviated with proper medical care and attention.  This includes properly monitoring the mother and the baby for signs of fetal distress.  Ensuring that the baby is receiving full and proper blood flow is also very important.  This ensure that the baby is receiving fresh, oxygenated blood.  Any decrease in oxygen could result in damage to the developing brain.


Connection with Cerebral Palsy


Since HIE is a type of birth asphyxia, is can result in injuries to the brain.  Many injuries to the developing brain result in lesions.  The location and number of lesions dictates the type of disability and extent of the disability.  Lesions to certain parts of the brain like the basil ganglia and cerebellum could affect an individual’s ability to walk and move.  Lesions in the brain causing movement and motor function disfunction are forms of cerebral palsy, or CP.  Thus, it is common for babies who suffer from HIE to also have complications such as cerebral palsy.  While HIE could cause a numerous amount of other injuries, cerebral palsy is the most commonly associated one.


Lifetime Costs of HIE Injuries Related to Cerebral Palsy


There are no exact figures available regarding the lifetime costs of HIE.  This is particularly because HIE can cause a myriad of different disabilities which have unique costs.  This may result in drastic differences in numbers.  However, Bend/Portland birth injury lawyers use experts to calculate the lifetime costs of HIE on a specific victim through use of vocational experts, life care planners, medical experts, economists, and other specialists who can devise a full analysis.  This is why it is important to get a customized figure for the lifetime costs of HIE through a lawyer that is specific to your case.  This will always be the most accurate number of lifetime costs for a victim of HIE.


But it is important to recognize that HIE is closely linked to cerebral palsy.  While there can be a wide range of disabilities with cerebral palsy, generally CP relates to motor movement which can narrow the possible costs as opposed to the full-gambit of disabilities that HIE could cause (i.e., speech, memory, language, cognitive, problem solving, headaches, etc.).  There are also many more causes of CP, not just HIE.  Thus, there are more lifetime costs figures and estimates for CP which are useful in evaluating HIE lifetime costs.


According to the CDC, the lifetime costs for individuals with cerebral palsy were approximately $1 million based on a 2003 figure.  With inflation, that figure is approximately $1.4 million.  The average expenses for children with CP were also 10 times higher than those without cerebral palsy.  These are important figures to consider when evaluating HIE.  And it is important to recognize that these figures are JUST for future medical costs.  These figures are not accounting for lost wages, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.


Ask our Bend/Portland Birth Injury Lawyers for Help


HIE is a catastrophic birth injury.  It can lead to numerous other devastating diagnoses, including cerebral palsy.  The lifetime costs for cerebral palsy are approximately $1.4 million, and these costs do not factor in other disabilities that are commonly caused by HIE such as speech, memory, and other cognitive functioning.  Nor does this figure factor in other costs such as lost wages, pain and suffering, lost of consortium, lost earnings, and other damages possibly compensable under Oregon law.


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, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, and Hillsboro.  


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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