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Damages in Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy Cases

Syracuse Lawyers for Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy Claims

Perinatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is one of the most serious kinds of infant brain damage that happen during childbirth. It occurs when both oxygen and blood supply are restricted or interrupted before or during labor and delivery such that brain cells die after brief periods; when a baby’s brain has no blood or oxygen, cells may die within minutes. Many parents do not have enough saved to address their babies’ needs. If you need to obtain damages in a hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy case, you should call the seasoned Syracuse birth injury lawyers of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano for best results. We have more than 30 years of experience handling claims and seeking best outcomes on behalf of babies and families who have been harmed by medical mistakes.

Perinatal Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy

HIE is a type of brain injury caused by hypoxia, which involves the interruption of oxygen flow, and ischemia, which is limited blood flow. While HIE is rare, when it happens, it can cause dramatic and permanent harm or even death. A baby’s developing brain may rapidly deteriorate and die when deprived of oxygen and blood. The result may be physical disability and cognitive impairment that require special therapy. In some cases, HIE results in death.

Damages in Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy Claims

Not every mistake made by a doctor constitutes medical malpractice. The analysis can be complicated. Our lawyers will need to prove the following to show that your baby’s HIE involved medical malpractice: (1) the defendant owed you and your baby a professional standard of care, (2) breach of the professional standard of care, (3) causation, and (4) damages. The professional standard of care depends on the circumstances and relies on both the defendant health care provider’s geographical region and specialty. We may need to prove that your obstetrician-gynecologists, for example, abided by the accepted standards and practices of other obstetrician-gynecologists in Syracuse.

The severity of HIE symptoms can affect the damages our lawyers may be able to recover. With mild HIE, for example, symptoms may resolve in a few weeks; during that time a baby may suffer excessive crying and irritability, and abnormal muscles. With moderate HIE, a baby may have a lack of muscle tone and seizures within the first day. Severe HIE may involve extreme seizures that increase in frequency, along with extreme hypotonia, irregular breathing, and abnormal heart rate and blood pressure.

The symptoms will determine the treatment, which in turn will determine economic damages. For instance, some babies with HIE do well with therapeutic hypothermia in which the baby’s body temperature is brought below normal immediately after birth. Other options include therapy, medication, and lifelong supports.

In addition to retaining experts to prove liability, our attorneys may need to retain experts on questions of damages. For instance, if it’s believed a child may not be able to care for him or herself and may have only minor improvements from therapies that are nevertheless reasonably necessary, we may need to retain an economist who can attest to what sort of losses the patient is looking at in terms of being able to work or enjoy life, along with medical experts who can discuss the extent to which therapies may help.

In addition to recovering economic damages, you may be able to recover noneconomic losses both for yourself and your baby. Parents who did not anticipate the losses engendered by brain damage caused by their doctor may recover for their own emotional losses, along with the pain suffered by their child because of having HIE.

Consult a Seasoned Syracuse Birth Injury Lawyer

If your child suffers from hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy because of medical malpractice or you suspect medical malpractice in connection with treatment for HIE, you should call the experienced Syracuse birth injury lawyers of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Attorneys who have represented injured babies and their families for 35 years. We handle cases in Buffalo, Albany, Lowville, Rochester, Auburn, Watertown, Herkimer, Oswego, Wampsville, Canandaigua, Lyons, Ithaca, Cooperstown, Oneida, Utica, Binghamton, Elmira, and all of Upstate New York for more than 30 years. For a free consultation, complete our online form or call us at 315-479-9000.

Client Reviews
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"We were very impressed with how Jeff DeFrancisco represented us at trial and we were extremely happy when the jury found in our favor." D.M., Auburn, NY
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"I cannot express in words what an awesome job Charlie Falgiatano and Jean Marie Westlake did in representing my family in my mother's case at trial. There can never be enough thank-yous." D.L., Cortland, NY
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"I suffered a serious injury as a result of medical malpractice. My husband and I retained Jeff DeFrancisco to assist us in this case. We were extremely happy with his representation and highly recommend him." Kelley R., Syracuse, NY
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Since the insurance company was unwilling to settle the matter my case ultimately went to trial. At trial Jeff DeFrancisco did an absolutely amazing job by obtaining a very favorable result for me." T.H., Oneida, NY
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"I highly recommend DeFrancisco & Falgiatano - Charlie represented me for a medical malpractice case. He is the best of the best. He is friendly and I am very happy with the representation he provided." Roger N., Oneida, NY