After talking with an individual regarding long term concerns from a birth injury, the issue of HIE and quality of life and life expectancy came up in the discussion. Because of the importance of this issue, I have decided to explain some issues surrounding this topic from a medical legal aspect. This is a topic that many may think about at some point, and if this is the case, having a basic understanding of some of the issues present can help a family find the answers they seek.
Before going further however, you must understand that no person can guarantee an outcome like this. In other words, no one can tell for certain how long anyone will live, regardless of their medical condition. This article is here to help you understand some of the area of analysis when trying to understand potential outcomes of babies who have suffered the traumatic brain injury HIE at birth.
THE SEVERITY AND AREA(S) OF THE BRAIN INJURED MATTERS…
What is the severity of the injury is a question and answer can shed a lot of light on the issues that we have discussed above? If you are currently dealing with a recent traumatic brain injury, this is something that you want to discuss with your baby’s doctor, if you have not already done so. One of the reasons this is important is because the severity and area(s) of the brain injured can help families begin to assess the potential challenges that their child may face moving into the future.
HIE, or hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, is an injury which occurs due to a reduced level of blood and oxygen, which can lead to an injury to the brain. Through brain scans and testing, doctors can tell parents in many cases what part of the brain has been impacted, and severity of the injury.
For example, if the area of the brain which controls swallowing is injured, this may impact how a child can eat and what support or treatment is needed. If the area which controls limb movement is injured, this might impact movement in the future. These are but a few examples of how understanding what part of the brain is injured can help asses future quality of life issues.
Parents must understand that not all children are impacted in the same way by an HIE diagnosis. A child who has a more severe injury, which has impacted breathing and other functions might have different challenges than a child who has a mild injury, with fewer areas impacted. For children who have mild injuries, with the right support put in place, they can live long lives, just like anyone else.
HIE AND QUALITY OF LIFE AND LIFE EXPECTANCY
Before concluding this talk, you should be able to see that there are a lot of factors which will come into play when trying to assess quality of life issues and life expectancy. Asking the right questions of your child’s doctors is critical in getting a better picture of what might lie ahead.
When looking to find answers for families regarding the cause of their baby’s HIE diagnosis and helping with future challenges, we will look to find the answers to many of the things discussed above and get them implemented in a life-care plan for the baby.
If you would like to speak with us further about any of these issues, pick up the phone and call us. We speak with families all the time about these issues and we will be happy to speak with you.
You can reach us at 301-850-4832.
Marcus B. Boston, Esq.
2 Wisconsin Circle, Suite 700
Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815
1-833-4 BABY HELP