The question of how can we prevent HIE at birth is one that families voice concern over when they contact us after their baby has been diagnosed with an HIE injury. For many families, HIE is something that is not really talked about beforehand because of the small chance of the injury occurring. Because HIE is a traumatic brain injury, it is a medical condition that must be taken seriously.
For this discussion I will go over things families and medical professionals can do to lessen the chance of a baby suffering an HIE brain injury at birth. My comments will be based on my discussions with multiple families who have had children suffer this injury and as a birth injury attorney analyzing these issues from a medical legal point of view.
How Can We Prevent HIE At Birth?
First, in some instances an HIE injury can occur due to no fault of anyone. These can be challenges from a genetic and or developmental standpoint which can lead to the injury. These types of issues will lead a baby to suffer an oxygen deprivation which can cause the brain to become injured. As I stress to families, when this is the case, there is no avenue through the legal process because the cause of the injury is not related to anything the medical professionals did, or failed to do.
As it pertains to families, one of the most important things that can be done to help reduce the chance of an HIE injury is to keep current with visits to the doctor. It is through doctor’s visits that problems can be recognized and observed and treated. In addition, families can also report and concerns that they may have during this period. For example, if reduced fetal movement is felt, then this information can be relayed to the doctors and professionals and proper action can be taken. In addition, things like preeclampsia and gestational diabetes can be monitored.
Secondly, putting together a birthing plan can also help with reducing the risk of an HIE injury. When putting together a birthing plan, also note who you would have accompanying you through your labor and delivery. Also, be sure that these individuals understand your plan and what you would like to happen during your birthing process so they too can advocate for your wishes.
When discussing medical professionals, two of the most common themes we hear from families is the lack of attention by doctors and nurses, especially from our Black clients. Listening to the patients and their concerns can go a long way in picking up on problems and getting to the correct diagnosis and treatment. Secondly, taking the time to make the correct readings on the fetal heart monitor. In many of our cases, there are misreads of the fetal heart strips and this can lead to departures from the standard of care, causing the baby to suffer an HIE injury.
Lastly, nurses not being afraid to invoke their chain of command when it seems that the doctors are either ignoring the troubling signs occurring during labor and delivery, or just all out ignoring what is happing to mom and baby. It is not enough for nurses to essentially close their eyes to what is happening and fall back to the fact there is a doctor involved in care. Nurses have their own independent duty to mom and baby.
To speak with us further about any questions you may have regarding the cause of your baby’s HIE diagnosis I will direct you to my contact information below. It costs nothing initially wot speak with us about your baby’s HIE diagnosis and we can work to help get you answers as to the cause of the injury.
Marcus B. Boston, Esq.
9701 Apollo Dr. Suite 100
Largo, Maryland 20774
1-833-4 BABY HELP