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Phoenix Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) Attorney

Was Your Child Diagnosed with HIE in Arizona?

What Is Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)?

Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is a type of birth injury caused by of a disruption of blood flow to the baby’s brain, depriving it of oxygen.

These injuries are usually caused by poorly managed delivery complications, such as placental abruption, umbilical cord prolapse, improper use of forceps or vacuum extraction, excessive Pitocin used to induce labor, and other types of birth trauma.

If your child is suffering from any type of medical condition caused by a lack of oxygen at birth, and you suspect that some type of error or negligence may have been involved, do not wait to talk to a Phoenix birth injury lawyer at Cullan & Cullan.

Our lawyers are also doctors. With legal and medical degrees, we have an unparalleled understanding of cases involving hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. We can accurately analyze the circumstances surrounding your labor and delivery to see if malpractice was involved.

To get started, call (602) 900-9483 for a free, confidential consultation.

Oxygen Deprivation & Neonatal Brain Damage

A baby deprived of oxygen at birth will suffer irreversible brain damage. The longer the baby is deprived of oxygen, the worse the brain injury.

A baby should be monitored carefully in the labor and delivery room to ensure that he or she is getting enough oxygen. Loss of oxygen is a medical emergency requiring an immediate C-section delivery to save the baby’s life and minimize the degree of brain injury.

Failure to carefully monitor mother and baby can have devastating consequences such as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, perinatal asphyxia, brain hemorrhage, stroke, seizures, and other severe impairment or death. More than 25% of babies that survive with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy are left with significant brain damage.

Underlying Causes of HIE

HIE may have various underlying causes and risk factors, including:

  • Problems caused by carrying the baby too long (post-maturity)
  • Too little amniotic fluid
  • Premature rupture of the membranes
  • Premature labor and birth
  • A prolapsed or compressed umbilical cord
  • Too-short cord, knotted cord, or a cord that is wrapped around the baby’s neck
  • Prolonged, unproductive labor
  • Placenta previa (placenta covering the mother’s cervix)
  • Placental abruption (premature separation of the placenta from the uterine wall)
  • Rupture of the uterus
  • Excessive number or strength of uterine contractions, sometimes caused by Pitocin or other drugs used to induce labor
  • Cephalopelvic disproportion (baby’s head is too big to pass through the mother’s pelvis)
  • Trauma to the baby’s brain from improper use of forceps or vacuum extractor, causing bleeding and lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain during delivery
  • High blood pressure (preeclampsia) or infection in the mother
  • Anesthesia errors
  • Breech or face-up presentation
  • Shoulder dystocia causing a difficult or delayed delivery

Can HIE Be Prevented?

HIE is a birth injury that is usually preventable, as long as the mother receives quality prenatal care, the mother and baby are properly monitored, and the doctor and hospital are prepared to act quickly at the first sign of fetal distress.

If the quality of prenatal care was poor, the hospital staff failed to monitor the progress of the labor, or failed to act when the baby indicated signs of distress, this might be evidence of medical malpractice, and the doctor and/or hospital may be held liable for your child’s injuries.

Is My Baby Suffering from HIE?

Your doctor is not likely to admit that a problem with the handling of the delivery caused your baby to suffer from HIE.

These are some signs that you, as a parent, may have observed:

  • Your baby appeared very blue and needed to be resuscitated
  • Your baby was assigned a low APGAR score (used to assess a newborn’s condition, based on reflexes, color, pulse rate, muscle tone, and respiration,)
  • Your baby suffered seizures in the first day or two of life
  • Your baby had difficulty nursing
  • Your baby seemed limp and lacking in muscle tone

Our team can review your medical records. We know what to look for and know when information is missing. We can likely highlight additional indications of HIE.

Consult a Phoenix Birth Injury Lawyer

If your baby suffered a brain injury at birth, not only will it affect his or her quality of life, but it will likely affect the whole family. Your child will probably require a lifetime of special care and expensive treatment. Because you want the best for your child, you need to ensure that you have the financial means to provide the best quality of life possible.

If a medical professional or hospital was negligent and caused the injury, you may be able to recover money for your child as compensation for the damages to your and your child’s quality of life and for the medical and other expenses you incurred as a result of the negligent prenatal care or botched delivery.

Make an appointment for a free consultation with one of the skilled and knowledgeable birth injury lawyers at Cullan & Cullan. We are not only birth injury lawyers, we are also doctors. We have conducted forensic investigations of thousands of birth injury cases.

We have record-setting verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients. We have the passion, knowledge, and experience that is required to handle these difficult and complex cases.

Call (602) 900-9483 today for a free consultation and review of your potential HIE claim.

Commonly Asked Questions

What legal options are available for families affected by HIE in Phoenix?

Families in Phoenix affected by HIE due to medical negligence have the right to seek legal recourse. By consulting with a birth injury attorney who is also medically knowledgeable, such as those at Cullan & Cullan, families can explore the possibility of filing a lawsuit to obtain compensation for medical expenses, ongoing care, and the impact on their child's quality of life. The legal team can review medical records, identify signs of malpractice, and help navigate the complex legal process to hold responsible parties accountable.

How can I tell if my child's HIE was caused by medical malpractice?

Determining if your child's HIE was caused by medical malpractice involves a thorough review of medical records and the circumstances surrounding the birth. The attorneys at Cullan & Cullan, who are also doctors, can identify potential signs of negligence, such as failure to monitor the baby's oxygen levels, delayed C-section delivery, or improper use of birth-assisting tools. If there are indications that the standard of care was not met, this may constitute medical malpractice.

What are the long-term effects of HIE on a child?

The long-term effects of HIE on a child can vary but often include developmental delays, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, cognitive impairments, and motor skill deficits. The severity of these conditions is typically related to the extent and duration of oxygen deprivation at birth. Children with HIE may require lifelong medical treatment, therapy, and special care, which can be financially and emotionally challenging for families.

Why should I choose Cullan & Cullan for my HIE lawsuit in Phoenix?

Choosing Cullan & Cullan for your HIE lawsuit in Phoenix is beneficial because their lawyers are also medically trained doctors. This unique combination of legal and medical knowledge allows them to deeply understand the intricacies of birth injuries like HIE. They have a proven track record of securing record-setting verdicts and settlements for their clients, demonstrating their commitment and ability to handle complex HIE cases with the expertise required to achieve favorable outcomes.

Record SettingVerdicts

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  • $26.1 Million

    Medical Malpractice

    Cullan & Cullan has set a state record in Nebraska with a $26.1 million medical malpractice jury award.

  • $25.4 Million

    Medical Malpractice

    Cullan & Cullan, Doctors Practicing Law, won a record-setting $25.4 million jury verdict for a family injured by medical negligence during labor and delivery.

  • $19 Million

    Truck Accident

    Negligent truck driver made a right-hand turn into plaintiff’s vehicle, causing fractured vertebra and partial paralysis. Defendant alleged plaintiff was trying to pass him on the shoulder. The insurance company offered zero before trial.



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