Stages of Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy Birth Injuries: Oregon HIE Lawyers

Our Oregon HIE Lawyers Explain the Stages of Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy


One of the most devastating birth injuries that a newborn could suffer is hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy.  Also known as HIE, this type of debilitating birth injury could lead to a whole host of health complications which plague an innocent child for the rest of his or her life.  This includes severe complications and disorders like cerebral palsy, which could leave a victim unable to function normally.  HIE is classified into three stages which is important to know when seeking compensation for your loved one.  This is because the worse the stage, the more compensation you will need to recover to be able to afford all of the medical bills, treatment, and other costs for your child.  Our Oregon HIE lawyers explain what you need to know about HIE and the three stages.


What is HIE?


Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy is a catastrophic injury due to two factors.  The first is “hypoxic” which is a lower amount or deprivation of oxygen.  The second is “ischemic” which is related to the blood which carries oxygenated blood.  This combination of an oxygen deprivation due to decreased blood flow can cause “encephalopathy” which is the medical term for a brain injury or damage to the brain.  As a result, the brain is damaged by the decrease in oxygen from a decrease in blood flow.


HIE could cause a variety of symptoms in a victim, including wrongful death.  The most common symptoms are those related to cerebral palsy, which is a serious of disorders relating to how a person moves.  This includes involuntary movements or difficulty to make voluntary movements due to lesions, or damage, on the parts of the brain which govern movement.


Stages of HIE


There are three stages of HIE which every parent should be aware of.  The worse the stage, the more medical bills, therapy (physic, speech, occupational, and other therapy), and the other medical procedures, equipment, and other expenses that a victim and his or her family will endure.  The stages are classified as followed:


Stage 1 – This stage of HIE is considered to be mild and is the most mild of the three.  This is when muscle tone may be increased (hypertonia) and there will be troubling behaviors such as poor feeding, irritability, excessive crying, sleepiness, and related general fuzziness.  In most instances, a victim with Stage 1 HIE will recover in the first week of life.  In some instance there may be prolonged difficulties which either slowly abate or are minimal.


Stage 2 – This stage of HIE is considered to be moderate.  A baby will be lethargic and have weakened muscles or muscle tone (hypotonia).  The same difficulty with feeding, irritability, crying, sleepiness, and overall general demeanor as in Stage 1 will be present, but usually worse.  Babies with Stage 2 may suffer from seizures.  Many victims of HIE with Stage 2 will recover from most of the symptoms within a few weeks, but there is usually some long-term damage.  This includes permanent and irreparable damage.  Victims may appear to have recovered or have a mild type of HIE, but then rapidly deteriorate which means there could be greater damage to the brain than first thought.  Seizures could become more severe and last for a lifetime.


Stage 3 – This is a severe stage of HIE which may have catastrophic repercussions for a victim.   Babies may act in a coma and not react to physical stimulus or interaction.  Most victims require breathing support of a ventilator and will have seizures.  There are usually decreased muscle tone (hypotonia) and decreased reflex.  Neonatal reflexes like swallowing, grasping, and sucking are not present.  There may be deviations in the eyes with appearance and vision, including dilated pupils.  There may be head swelling and fast deteriorations of the baby’s demeanor and ability.  The baby may also have a difficult time regulating breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, and other autonomous functions.  Permanent brain damage is common.


Our Oregon HIE Lawyers Can Help You


If your baby has any stage of HIE, there could be permanent damage.  If your child was diagnosed with any other troubling health condition such as cerebral palsy, Kernicterus, or any other type of Oregon birth injury, make sure you get Oregon birth injury lawyers who understand how devastating HIE is and what needs to be done.  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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