In today’s post we are going to discuss hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, bad results, and medical malpractice. Although this article has an HIE component to it, much of what is discussed will hold true when analyzing a medical malpractice case in general, especially for Maryland law.
Please remember that the information on this topic is general in nature. As a result, if you have questions about how this information applies specifically to your set of facts, please talk with your attorney regarding case specifics.
Why Does All Of This Matter?
As birth injury attorneys, many of the calls we receive surround traumatic injuries. Putting this another way, as a mother told me previously, their family suffered a bad result during labor and delivery and that malpractice had to be the reason. The truth of the matter is that a bad result does not on its own mean medical malpractice has happened. Maryland law specifically, has in place elements that must be present to trigger medical malpractice liability.
These elements consist of having experts who will testify as to the standard of care and whether the treating doctors, nurses, or hospital fell below the standard of care, causing the injury. Without this information, a medical malpractice case will not be successful in Maryland. This is important to understand.
Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy Bad Results and Medical Malpractice
Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, bad results, and medical malpractice can hinge on causation in a lot of instances. What I mean is that if the HIE diagnosis was not caused by the medical professionals, then medical malpractice liability will not hold.
To better understand what I mean is to think of it this way. HIE is a type of traumatic brain injury which can be due to a reduced level of blood and oxygen which leads to a brain injury. However, there can be multiple causes of HIE. For example, in some cases, genetics can lead to blood and oxygen reductions. In addition to genetics, if there are developmental issues present, then development can cause blood and oxygen deprivation, thus leading to a brain injury.
With that said, in some cases the cause of the blood and oxygen problems can be because doctors and nurses fail to diagnose and treat a condition called fetal distress. The use of the electronic fetal heart monitor can help doctors and nurses understand in real time how well a baby is tolerating a vaginal delivery. When the cause of the HIE diagnosis, or subsequent cerebral palsy (CP) diagnosis stems from doctor and nurse errors, which are a departure from the standard of care, then an argument for medical malpractice liability can exist.
It is important for families to understand these concepts because these are some of the things that birth injury attorney, like myself, will be analyzing when looking to find answers for a family. To speak with me further regarding your baby’s HIE diagnosis I invite you to pick up the phone and call me. My contact information is located below, and I would be happy to listen to your baby’s story.
Marcus B. Boston, Esq.
2 Wisconsin Circle, Suite 700
Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815
1-833-4 BABY HELP