HIE and Cerebral Palsy Impact Thousands of Infants Every Year

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).