Perinatal Encephalopathy

Birth Injury Lawyers Representing Children and Families in the Baltimore Area

Perinatal encephalopathy can lead to devastating harm. If your child has suffered an injury due to being deprived of oxygen and blood during pregnancy, labor, or delivery, we can help. At Arfaa Law Group, our Baltimore birth injury attorneys can diligently examine the facts of your case to determine whether your child's condition was a result of malpractice. We have secured a series of notable settlements and verdicts on behalf of Maryland clients that rank among the highest in the state's history.

Malpractice Resulting in Perinatal Encephalopathy

Perinatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is a cause of brain injuries in a newborn and can result in long-term harm. HIE is a brain injury that may take place during labor and delivery when a baby is deprived of oxygen. Babies receive oxygen through the mother's placenta. While babies can recover from short periods of oxygen deprivation, a long period of oxygen deprivation can lead to serious, long-term harm. The unfortunate reality is that most cases of HIE are preventable.

Medical professionals should be able to recognize and treat conditions that put a baby at risk for HIE. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. Examples of actions that could cause or contribute to HIE include:

  • Mistakes in fetal heart monitoring;
  • Delay or failure to perform a C-section;
  • Failure to properly respond to and treat signs of fetal distress;
  • Prolonged labor, misuse of labor induction drugs, and excessive uterine contractions;
  • Umbilical cord issues, such as the cord being wrapped around the baby's neck, knotted, collapsed, compressed, or too short;
  • Insufficient precautions taken for a high-risk pregnancy;
  • Placental issues such as abruption or previa;
  • When the baby is overly large or breech, or when forceps or other birth-assisting tools are misused;
  • Anesthesia mistakes that can cause blood pressure problems in the mother and can decrease the supply of oxygen-rich blood going to the baby.

If you believe that your child's HIE was preventable, you may be able to recover compensation through a medical malpractice claim. While no amount of money can undo the harm that your child has suffered, it can help cover expenses that are often needed to treat challenging conditions that can result from HIE. The complications of HIE may not surface right away. Conditions may involve neurological issues such as cerebral palsy and seizure disorders or sensory problems such as vision loss, hearing loss, and crossed eyes, as well as physiological issues with the respiratory, endocrine, digestive, skeletal, and musculoskeletal systems. Depending on the nature and extent of the harm suffered, your attorney may be able to recover medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, pain and suffering, mental anguish, costs of future care, and any other losses associated with the malpractice.

Before any damages can be recovered, medical malpractice must be established. Birth injuries are a form of malpractice. In Maryland, medical malpractice happens when medical practitioners do not use the acceptable standard of care, thereby causing an injury or death to a patient. The standard of care will vary in each case and depends on a number of factors, such as the condition being treated as well as the patient's age and medical history. In order to win a malpractice case, the plaintiff must demonstrate that there was a doctor-patient relationship, the doctor owed the patient a certain duty of care, the doctor violated the duty of care owed to the patient by failing to act as a reasonable doctor would have acted in the same or similar circumstances, and the doctor's violation was a direct cause of the patient's harm.

It is important to note that medical malpractice claims must be filed within a certain time frame, known as the statute of limitations. Laws governing the statute of limitations can be very complex. As a result, concerned parents should consult an attorney right away.

Contact a Baltimore Attorney to Discuss a Potential Medical Malpractice Claim

If your child suffers a birth injury, your first question is why. If your child has developed perinatal encephalopathy due to a medical professional's negligence, we can help. At Arfaa Law Group, our Baltimore attorneys can look into the facts of your case and help you fight for the compensation that you need to deal with your injuries. We proudly represent people throughout Maryland. For a free consultation, call 410-889-1850 or contact us online.