Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) (also known as perinatal asphyxia) is a type of brain injury that results when the supply of blood and oxygen to a baby’s brain is temporarily cut off during childbirth.

What is Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)?

Encephalopathy is a medical term used to describe various conditions or diseases that result in damage to the brain. Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is an injury to the brain specifically caused by a combination of (a) an interruption or reduction in oxygen supply (hypoxia), and (b) a reduction of blood flow (ischemia). With perinatal HIE the reduction of blood and oxygen flow to the baby’s brain takes place during or immediately after childbirth. HIE is a very dangerous condition that requires an emergency response by doctors and hospital staff. Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy is one of the leading causes of infant deaths during childbirth. HIE is also a leading source of very severe and disabling brain damages.

Our law firm handles cerebral palsy lawsuits in Baltimore.  There is confusion about CP lawsuits and about cerebral palsy in general.  This post hopes to help some clear up some of the confusion and get a clear picture of the landscape of cerebral palsy in general and the litigation landscape of in CP birth injury suits.

Some lawyers and defense experts in birth injury cases want the jury to think the cerebral palsy is a disease. Cerebral palsy is not a disease.  Rather CP is a group of disorders in which the brain is unable to control muscle movement, coordination, and balance.  The term cerebral references the brain and palsy is a medical term that refers to paralysis or weakness.  CP is caused by a particular type of damage to the brain during developmental stages.

CP and its physical symptoms can vary significantly. Individuals with relatively minor cases of CP might just walk with a slight limp or awkward gait.  I have one friend who has CP who got off to a tough start but does really well and, at this point, no one knows she has CP.   A severe case of CP might leave the person completely unable to walk at all.

Medical malpractice is when a physician, or other professional, renders substandard medical care resulting in harm to the patient.  Professional malpractice is a civil wrong or “tort” for which injured patients can be entitled to legal compensation.  The damages caused by medical malpractice can be very significant.

Poor medical care can easily result in debilitating physical harm and even death.  In fact, a recent study by Johns Hopkins estimated that medical errors are the 3rd leading cause of death in the U.S. each year.  Baltimore has some of the best hospitals and doctors in the entire country.  But medical malpractice occurs even at places like Johns Hopkins.

Everyone always talks about how fortunate we are to have such great hospitals in Baltimore.  I’ve said that myself and felt blessed to have the treatment options I have had.  Yet Maryland ranks 48th in hospital safety in Maryland and Baltimore hospital play a big role in that ranking.

Last week, the Baltimore City Department of Transportation announced that it is pushing its chips to the center of the table when it comes to speed and red light cameras.

Baltimore has a program called the City’s Automated Traffic Violation Enforcement System (ATVES).  Not so much to me because I’ve seen too many people’s lives ruined by speed and running red lights, but ATVES sounds very Orwellian to many Baltimore City drivers. ATVES is in charge of the automated speed trap and red light enforcement cameras in Baltimore City.

ATVES also does something that troubles people less, particularly those who have seen truck accident statistics in this country. It has a Commercial Vehicle Height Monitoring System Camera Program to enforce violations of commercial vehicles traveling on truck restricted roadways in Baltimore City.  We got a million dollar verdict in a case a few years back in no small measure because the jury was annoyed that the truck was in a place that it clearly should not have been.   This system definitely uses some bring brother technology,  using the truck’s height to determine whether the vehicle is over ¾ of a ton).

The conversation surrounding the #MeToo movement on social media has made many reconsider inappropriate behavior inside and outside of professional environments. The much-publicized trial of disgraced former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar – and his conviction on seven counts of sexual abuse– shed light on the kind of incidents experienced by many female patients. Here’s what you need to know about sexual assault by a treating medical professional.

Sexual assaults by doctors are not necessarily medical malpractice claims.  They are assaults.  But when we have these cases, we are likely going to file them as malpractice cases.  The defenses are often grounded in malpractice and we are often bringing negligence claims against the medical practice or hospital for not properly supervising the doctor in light of what is often prior complaints against the doctor.  We have a sexual battery case in suit now where the doctor required a chaperone due to prior allegations but one was not provided with our client.  The doctor eventually lost his medical license.

What Do We Consider Sexual Assault?

A Cesarean section, commonly called a “C-section”, is often performed when the baby or the mother is in distress. A C-section enables a doctor to remove the infant immediately in order to prevent an injury and then allows the doctor to provide treatment as soon as possible. Sometimes, however, there may be a delay in performing a needed c-section.

The standard of care when delivering a baby requires the obstetrician or midwife to correctly assess the fetal monitor tracings and to recognize any non-reassuring patterns. If the baby is in trouble, doctors need to take action quickly. A timely performed C-section is often the best path to protecting the child from a loss of oxygen that can lead to a brain injury or death.

There is some debate among obstetricians as to when a C-section is appropriate.  There is no dispute that the standard of care calls for cesarean sections in many cases, including, repeat C-sections,  multiple births, a labor and delivery which is expected to be challenging, when the child’s expected size is disproportionate to the mother’s pelvis, uterine tumor obstructions, or breech or transverse presentation of the neonate. Obstetricians also agree that there are cases of fetal distress or maternal disorders that mandate a C-section.

Meconium is the baby’s first bowel movement. It is probably not what you expect. These first feces consists of debris and cells from the intestinal tract and mucus and slimy fluids. Meconium is green and has no smell.

What is Meconium Aspiration Syndrome?

Meconium Aspiration Syndrome (MAS) causes respiratory distress as a result of meconium entering the respiratory tract below the vocal cords and presenting in the tracheal bronchial tree. When the baby makes an attempt to breathe in utero, before the baby is delivered, the baby can inhale meconium material into the lungs. The fear is the meconium blocking the airways.  Oxygen is critical to life for all of us.  But, during the birthing process, it is critical to have a smooth flow of oxygen to the brain and other vital organs.

Insurance companies do not think the way you and I think. But, by understanding how insurance adjusters think and what is important to them, you can maximize how much money you receive in a personal injury case.

What Is the Adjuster’s Goal?

Insurance adjusters are trained to try to rip you off. Although, adjusters do not call it that. They also do not think of it in those terms. But, they are not charged with the task of making a reasonable settlement offer to you. An insurance adjuster’s mission is to pay you as little money as possible to settle your claim, which allows the insurance company to keep as much of its money as it can.

If you have suffered a serious ear injury as the result of the negligence of someone else, you want to know the potential settlement value of our case.  The purpose of this page is to improve your understanding of the range of potential value of your claim.  We also have information elsewhere on the settlement value of hearing loss cases.

The ear is a complicated instrument, responsible for a variety of different functions in the body. Injuries that affect the outer, middle, or inner ear could result in vastly different symptoms, such as hearing loss, dizziness, or increased sensitivity to sound. In cases that involve an ear injury, it’s important to get specific.

There is no one-size-fits-all estimation for the value of an ear injury claim, so we have to take the symptoms, type of injury, severity, available treatments, recovery potential, and mechanism of injury into consideration for each and every individual case. With that in mind, this article will explore the different types of ear injuries that could arise from an auto accident or another traumatic event, and provide examples of trial verdicts and settlements for cases involving ear injuries. In addition to the type and severity of the ear damage, these sample cases will give you a sense of how claim value can also vary based on jurisdiction, the severity of any additional injuries, and a multitude of other factors.

Hypoxic-Ischemic perinatal encephalopathy (“HIE” for short) is loss of oxygen to the brain.  In slightly less than half of the cases, HIE can cause death or brain injuries.

What Causes HIE?

Obviously, the brain is the key to neurological function.  The brain commands and controls all of our essential actions and reactions.  This includes sending messages via neurotransmitters to control all of a person’s essential cognitive and physical functions.