Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy

Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy Attorneys in Nashville

HIE Can Cause Permanent Brain Damage

The United States National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that Infant Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE), a birth injury caused by reduced blood flow and/or a lack of oxygen to the brain, affects around 2 in every 1,000 full term births in the United States[1]. If your doctor fails to diagnose or respond to the lack of oxygen fast enough, it could easily lead to permanent brain damage, cerebral palsy, and even death.

Call (615) 933-2893 to speak with our Nashville HIE attorneys.

Trust Our Nationally Recognized Team of Attorneys

At Kinnard Law, our Nashville HIE lawyers understand just how devastating HIE can be, and are ready to provide you with the high-quality legal assistance you deserve in your time of need. While we are based in Tennessee, we have successfully handled cases in various states throughout the country over the past 30 plus years. We work hard to ensure that you receive the maximum possible compensation.

What is HIE?

HIE is a type of brain injury that occurs when the brain doesn't receive enough oxygen (hypoxia) and blood flow (ischemia). This condition is most common in newborns and can occur due to complications during pregnancy, labor, or delivery. HIE can lead to significant neurological impairments or even death if not promptly and effectively managed.

What Are the symptoms of HIE?

The symptoms of HIE can vary based on the severity of the condition and the timing of the injury. Here are the symptoms categorized by the severity of HIE:

Mild HIE

Mild Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) may show as increased fussiness, excessive crying, and difficulties with feeding. Babies might also display slight muscle tone abnormalities.

Moderate HIE

Moderate HIE presents with lethargy, weak muscle tone, seizures, diminished reflexes, and irregular breathing patterns. These symptoms indicate a more significant impact on the baby's neurological function.

Severe HIE

Severe HIE is characterized by frequent and severe seizures, profound muscle tone abnormalities (either floppy or stiff), coma-like unresponsiveness, and potential organ dysfunction. Babies with severe HIE require immediate intensive medical intervention.

Additional Symptoms Across Severity Levels

Additional symptoms include abnormal heart rate and breathing patterns, feeding intolerance, and metabolic disturbances like hypoglycemia or acidosis. These indicators can vary in severity depending on the extent of brain injury and systemic effects.

What Causes HIE?

Without proper monitoring, your infant could suffer from HIE at any point of the pregnancy, delivery, or after it’s been born.

Causes During Pregnancy:

  • Severe fetal anemia
  • Preeclampsia
  • Malformed lungs
  • Vascular disease resulting from maternal diabetes
  • Lack of proper blood circulation to the placenta
  • Congenital infections affecting the fetus
  • Cardiac disease
  • Alcohol and / or drug abuse

Causes During Delivery:

  • Placental abruption
  • Ruptured uterus
  • Fetal distress
  • Prolonged labor
  • Umbilical cord injuries
  • Abnormal fetal position
  • Dangerously low maternal blood pressure

Causes Post-Birth:

  • Severe cardiac or pulmonary disease
  • Premature birth
  • Infections like meningitis and sepsis
  • Head trauma
  • Dangerously low neonatal blood pressure
  • Congenital brain malformations

With proper monitoring, doctors can detect whether or not your fetus or infant is at risk of suffering from HIE. There are several treatment options available to combat HIE and provide their vital organs with oxygen, but all options need to be administered as soon as possible to be effective. If your doctor fails to diagnose HIE in time, your fetus or infant could suffer from permanent, life-threatening damage.

Hire Effective Legal Representation in Nashville

Unexpected complications can arise any time your doctor fails to monitor you and your fetus during the pregnancy, and when those complications lead to permanent brain damage or even death, you have the right to file a claim to ensure that your child can receive the medical care they need.

The Nashville HIE attorneys at Kinnard Law have 150 years of collective experience and have secured some of the largest medical malpractice verdicts in Tennessee’s history. Give us a call at (615) 933-2893 to talk with one of our HIE lawyers, or fill out our online form to tell us more about your case.

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