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HIE and Cerebral Palsy Impact Thousands of Infants Every Year

March 3rd, 2016

Birth injuries and birth trauma are far too common in the United States. Every year, thousands of infants will be born with life-threatening conditions that are the result of a medical mistake by a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional. The most serious birth injuries are caused when a lack of oxygen damages a child’s brain. At the Yost Legal Group, our legal team wants to educate people about the dangers of these injuries, as well as their causes, symptoms and treatments.

When a shortage of oxygen (hypoxia) also causes the fetal heart rate to slow (ischemia) the infant has suffered a hypoxic-ischemic episode. If the oxygen and blood flow to the baby’s brain are interrupted during labor and delivery, even if the interruption is only for a short time, the baby may suffer a type of permanent brain damage called hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, or HIE.

While HIE is the cause of many cases of cerebral palsy in infants, babies are often diagnosed with HIE years before a CP diagnosis is made. Here are some additional statistics about HIE which show how serious this problem is in the United States:

  • HIE caused by neonatal asphyxia is the leading cause of infant fatalities in the U.S.
  • Between 15-28% of all incidents of cerebral palsy are the result of HIE
  • The incidence rate of HIE among premature babies is as high as 60%

Cerebral palsy is one of the most costly neurologic disabilities in children because of its frequency (2 in every 1000 live births) and its lifelong disabling impact. Cerebral palsy cannot be cured but treatment will very often improve a child’s capabilities and in general, the earlier treatment begins the better chances are that children will overcome developmental disabilities.

If you would like to discuss your child’s potential claim arising from HIE or CP, the attorneys at Yost Legal Group are experienced professionals ready to investigate your claim with compassion and determination. For a free consultation, please call us at 1-800-YOST-LAW (967-8529).

Seizure Activity in Newborns – Hypoxia

According to the Florida Neonatal Neurological Network about 20 out of every 1,000 full term births will be affected by a lack of oxygen to the brain (hypoxia) during labor and delivery.  Babies who are born prematurely are at even greater risk, because their lungs are not fully developed and they are unable to fully manage breathing on their own. Hypoxia is the most frequent cause of seizure activity in newborns and can cause additional…

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Periventricular Leukomalacia in Newborns

Periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) is an injury to the brain which occurs when tissue deep in the baby’s brain, called the white matter, dies away or is damaged.   If a baby’s brain does not receive enough oxygen during labor and delivery, the brain cells in the baby’s white matter can die or be damaged.  The patches of damaged or dying brain cells which lead to a diagnosis of PVL can be seen on brain imaging studies,…

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Birth Injury Due To Placental Abruption

The placenta is an organ that develops inside a woman’s uterus during pregnancy. Once a baby is conceived, the placenta forms to supply oxygen and nutrients to the baby, as well as remove waste products from the baby’s blood. The placenta attaches to the uterine wall, and the baby’s umbilical cord arises from it. In some cases, however, the placenta can separate from the uterine wall, causing the baby to stop receiving an adequate supply…

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Microcephaly Following Hypoxic Brain Injury at Birth

Microcephaly is a medical condition defined by a small head circumference. It is noticeable as a disproportionately small head for the size of the growing child. There are many different ways this condition can develop, including preventable brain injury at birth, which stunts the growth of the baby’s brain and skull. Acquired microcephaly in very young children can be caused by lack of oxygen during birth. If signs of the baby suffering from hypoxia during…

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