Are you going through this? In other words what is one of the most common birth injury calls that I get to my office? For many mothers and fathers, when they are informed that their child has suffered a birth injury, they have many questions. From how this happened to what to do next, these questions are in the minds of parents.
For us, one of the most common calls that we get centers around a baby suffering a brain injury at birth. There are many reasons why a baby may suffer a brain injury at birth and below we will talk more in depth about some of the critical issues that must be analyzed in a situation like these cases.
LACK OF OXYGEN TO THE BRAIN… ARE YOU GOING THROUGH THIS?
A hypoxic event can cause a baby to suffer a brain injury at birth and parents may be told by doctors about a condition called hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, or HIE. One of the easiest ways to understand HIE in this context is to look at it and understand the condition by separating the words. You can look at hypoxic meaning a reduced level of oxygen. Ischemic deals with the flow of blood. Encephalopathy in this context means a brain injury. So, when we put it all together, we have a reduced level of blood and oxygen which leads to a brain injury.
Knowing whether doctors suspect HIE played a role in a baby’s birth injury can help regarding the types of treatments that may be available long term. With that said, sometimes parents are in the dark regarding HIE and find out about the term during a review of the baby’s medical records.
HOW CAN DOCTORS SOMETIMES KNOW IF A BABY MAY BE GETTING READY TO SUFFER A BRAIN INJURY?
Fetal distress is a term that can be used to explain when a baby is no longer tolerating a vaginal delivery. Even though the concepts dealing with HIE can be challenging for parents, it is easy to follow that if a human is deprived of blood and oxygen or has a decreased level of blood and oxygen for a considerable amount of time, that an injury to the brain and possible other areas of the body can occur.
Doctors and nurses can use special tools, such as the electronic fetal heart monitor, to help determine whether a baby is tolerating the vaginal delivery. This device monitors the baby’s heart rate, among other things. When the readings from the electronic fetal heart monitor are no longer reassuring, doctors and nurses must act in the best interests of baby and mother.
Babies who deal with continual fetal distress must be helped. Due to the risk of profusion issues, if other measures are not moving the fetal heart monitor readings back into the reassuring range, doctors must be ready to move on an emergency C-section to help the baby. Injury to a child’s brain can be the result of a delayed C-section following fetal distress or the lack of a C-section, when warranted.
DOES YOUR BABY HAVE A CEREBRAL PALSY DIAGNOSIS?
Are you going through this? If your child’s doctors have spoken to you regarding hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, or neonatal encephalopathy (or you have seen these words in your child’s medical records), and you have more questions from a medical/legal perspective, this is what I invite you to do.
Pick up the phone and give me a call. I can be reached at 301-850-4832. I answer Maryland birth injury and medical malpractice questions just like yours all the time and I will be happy to listen to your story.
Marcus B. Boston, Esq.
Boston Law Group, LLC
2 Wisconsin Circle, Suite 700
Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815
1-833-4 BABY HELP