Causes and Risk Factors for Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy

A baby’s birth can produce excitement and feelings of anxiousness at the same time. Properly observing and treating any health issues the mother experiences is essential for a healthy baby. When this does not happen, birth injuries can result.

If your child suffers from hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), speak with a Portland hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy lawyer today to discuss your options, including whether a birth injury claim is an option. The future may feel unclear and overwhelming, but the team at Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC will relentlessly work on your behalf while you focus on healing and the needs of your child.

Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)

Adults can suffer from HIE, but it is most common in infants and experienced during or near birth. HIE is a reduced state of blood flow and lack of oxygen, causing brain injuries and cognitive or developmental challenges, such as cerebral palsy. HIE is often preventable when health issues are appropriately addressed and medical teams respond promptly to complications.

Causes and Risk Factors Associated with HIE

The statistical odds of experiencing HIE can be measured before birth in some case. Discussing health concerns with your OB/GYN can be critical in HIE prevention.

High-Risk Pregnancies

This term is used to describe multiple health conditions or factors that can occur before or during pregnancy that potentially compromise the health of a baby or mother. Failure to monitor high-risk pregnancies and take the appropriate medical actions as problems arise can endanger the health of the newborn and mother.

Labor and Delivery Complications

Any pregnancy can result in complications during delivery. Failure to respond promptly to labor emergencies can lead to HIE and other birth injuries caused by negligence. Possible issues leading to HIE are:

  • Prolonging a pregnancy beyond normal gestational periods, when the placenta begins to break down
  • Allowing labor to persist for too long before intervening
  • Prolonging a vaginal birth when the birth canal cannot accommodate the baby’s head or when the baby is positioned wrong in the birth canal
  • Improper administration of medications used in labor
  • Lack of heart rate monitoring leading to nonrecognition of fetal distress
  • Failure to proactively delay preterm births

Delayed Neonatal Care Responses

After birth, infants require proper monitoring to correct complications that can contribute to HIE. Failure to follow the standards of care can lead to treatable health issues becoming much more severe. Failing to diagnose or address these complications can result in irreversible consequences.

  • Jaundice and kernicterus
  • Neonatal hypoglycemia
  • Breathing issues
  • Meconium aspiration syndrome

Lack of Infectious Monitoring

Without a complete understanding of medical history by physicians, the mother or surrogate has the potential to pass viruses and infections to a newborn during birth. Treatment can occur with antibiotics or by performing a cesarean section to prevent exposure to infection in the newborn. Proper screening can prevent complications such as HIE.

Placenta Abnormalities

The placenta supplies oxygen and nutrients and removes waste for the fetus. Placental complications, often causing a lack of oxygen, can lead to HIE. These abnormalities can disturb placental function, resulting in HIE.

  • Placenta previa
  • Placental Abruption
  • Placental Insufficiency

Portland HIE and Birth Injury Attorney

These complications are not an exhaustive list of factors contributing to HIE. Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC takes every Portland birth injury lawsuit seriously. We have been recognized for our successful representation in medical malpractice claims across the state of Oregon and are committed to fighting for justice on your family’s behalf. You do not have to navigate this overwhelming situation alone.

A free consultation can start you on the path to providing the medical care your child deserves. We are confident in our ability to advocate for you.