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Birth Injury

How Serious Is Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy?

How Serious Is Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy?
Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy is a medical condition wherein a person is deprived of oxygen for a short period of time. It most commonly occurs in infants, so doctors may also refer to it by other names, including neonatal or perinatal asphyxia or hypoxemia.

What Causes This Condition?

There are three ways that infants develop hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. The first of which is from an injury to the mother or infant during the gestational period from placental separation, trauma, or accident.

The second way is through an injury to the infant during the birthing process, such as the umbilical cord wrapping around the baby's neck. And the last way this condition can occur is because of an injury to an infant after they are born. An example of this is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Is it Serious?

Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy in infants is serious because it can cause the following long-term, and often times, catastrophic health problems:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Seizures
  • Developmental delays
  • Chronic respiratory distress
  • Coma
  • Feeding issues
  • Hearing problems
  • Organ failure
  • Death

What Are the Symptoms of This Condition?

Sometimes, a parent will immediately know that their child has undergone oxygen deprivation because the doctor will have to start the resuscitation process. But that isn't always the case. The symptoms might not present until weeks later.

This can be seen by the absence of crying, weight loss, and underdevelopment of the infant.

What Should Parents Do if They Suspect Their Infant Has This Condition?

Parents who have reason to believe that their infant has hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy should contact our Baltimore birth injury lawyers at Brown & Barron for assistance as soon as possible. That way, our legal representatives can review the case to help determine if the issue was caused by medical malpractice or some other type of negligence.

Don't wait because this condition is often life threatening.

Call our firm today at (410) 698-1717 to speak with an attorney.