Will every baby’s HIE injury look the same? To put the question another way, will an HIE injury manifest itself the exact same way with every baby. This educational article, and supporting video, will touch on not only the physical manifestations of an HIE injury but also considerations from a medical legal standpoint when individuals are looking for help with a birth injury investigation as to the cause of their baby’s HIE injury.
It is my hope that by the conclusion of this article you will have a better understanding of the global issues that impact in HIE diagnosis. With that said, in short not every baby’s HIE Injury will look the same.
Will Every Baby’s HIE Injury Look The Same?
As I mentioned above, not every baby’s HIE injury will look the same. This is because depending on the cause of the injury and the area(s) of the brain injured, these things must be understood to get a full picture of a baby’s situation. For example, when a baby has suffered an HIE injury and oxygen deprivation caused by medical professionals during labor and delivery, certain flags will show up in the medical record. Generally, these babies will suffer seizures either shortly after birth or hours down the line. In addition, the umbilical cord gas reports will usually have findings which will show acidosis based on the cord pH and base excess readings. Finally, brain imaging such as MRI will show patterns associated with oxygen deprivation. Areas like the basal ganglia and the brainstem are typically injured because of oxygen deprivation during labor and delivery.
Because of injuries to the basal ganglia and brain stem, these babies may manifest challenges with things like walking, standing, chewing, eating, swallowing, vision, and hearing loss to name a few. A subsequent cerebral palsy diagnosis is not guaranteed but might be a possibility in the future.
On the other hand, when genetics or developmental challenges are the cause of a baby’s HIE injury, the injury might manifest itself in a different way. For example, an initial ultrasound shortly after birth might reveal a brain injury. If this is the case, then a strong argument can be made that the baby’s brain injury was caused during pregnancy and this may not be the fault of anyone. In addition, when birth injury is not the cause of the HIE brain injury the MRI pattern may reveal other areas of the brain which are injured. The cause of these injuries can sometimes be genetic or developmental, again generally not the fault of anyone. These babies will normally have challenges which are different from babies that suffered birth trauma as the cause of their HIE injury because of the different areas of the brain injured. For instance, these babies may not have challenges with walking, crawling, eating, vision etc.
How Does This All Play-out From A Medical Legal Standpoint?
What is stated above is extremely important from a medical legal standpoint because as a birth injury attorney we must always keep in mind whether the facts of a particular case will meet the elements needed to prove the case. One of the most hotly contested elements in a birth injury claim is causation. To put it another way, we have to make sure that the actions or in action of the medical professionals and hospital are what has caused harm to the baby. If the cause of the HIE injury is not tied to something that the doctors or the nurses or the hospital did then the case will not be successful. There must be a deviation from the standard of care which caused the injury.
So as a birth injury attorney when doing an investigation, we are reviewing not only the area(s) of the brain injured, but we are also reviewing things like the umbilical cord gas report. In addition to cord gas, we are also reviewing MRI patterns and the analysis from the placental pathologist. Of course, the readings from the electronic fetal heart monitor are also needed in the analysis.
The above are just some of the areas in which a birth injury attorney will review to get search for a family regarding the calls of their babies HIE injury. For us here at Boston Law Group, LLC it is our mission to give honest and frank answers to families during these times of need. If your baby has an HIE injury and you have questions as to how this occurred, please reach out to me at my contact information below. We speak with families like yours all the time about these issues and would be happy to listen to your baby’s story. If we can help, we will and if we cannot help, we will also let you know that too.
Marcus B. Boston, Esq.
9701 Apollo Dr. Suite 100
Largo, Maryland 20774
1-833-4 BABY HELP