Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy Attorneys in New Mexico

Helping Families Affected by HIE & Severe Birth Injuries

Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is a type of birth injury that occurs when a baby's brain doesn't receive enough oxygen during labor or delivery. Often, this devastating condition is the result of medical errors and can lead to severe, lifelong consequences for the child. If your child has been diagnosed with HIE, you may be grappling with painful emotions, medical terminology, and mounting medical bills. It's a challenging situation that no parent should have to face alone.

At James Wood Law in New Mexico, we understand the complexities of HIE cases and are committed to helping families like yours. Our experienced legal team can help you navigate the legal process, pursue justice, and seek the financial compensation you need to secure the best care for your child.

Reasons why you should choose James Wood Law for your HIE case:

  • We have secured multiple verdicts and settlements valued at $1 million or more.
  • We have tried more than 50 cases to a jury and settled more than 150 cases.
  • We are led by Attorney James Wood, a Board Certified Trial Lawyer by the National Board of Trial Advocacy.
  • We have been Rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell®.

Call (505) 906-6774 to tell us your story during a free initial case review. We accept calls 24/7.

Understanding Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy

HIE occurs when there's a disruption in the blood flow to a baby's brain, leading to a lower-than-normal level of oxygen. This oxygen disruption can happen due to several reasons including complications with the umbilical cord, placental abruption (where the placenta separates early from the uterus), or a prolonged or difficult delivery. Other risk factors include maternal health issues such as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, or heart disease.

The severity of HIE varies depending on how long the brain was deprived of oxygen. The longer the period of oxygen deprivation, the more severe the potential damage can be. In the most severe cases, HIE can lead to cerebral palsy, epilepsy, developmental delays, and even death.

Symptoms & Long-Term Effects of HIE

The symptoms and long-term effects of hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy can vary greatly depending on the severity of the condition. Our New Mexico HIE lawyers can work with medical experts to understand the full extent of how HIE has affected your child’s health, as well as what complications it might cause in the future.

Symptoms of HIE may include:

  • Difficulty with feeding or swallowing
  • Lethargy or low energy levels
  • Seizures
  • Low muscle tone or weakness
  • Respiratory distress or difficulty breathing
  • Low or high heart rate
  • Abnormal reflexes
  • Poor responsiveness to stimuli

Long-term effects of HIE can include:

  • Developmental delays
  • Cognitive impairments
  • Physical disabilities
  • Epilepsy
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Visual and hearing impairments
  • Behavioral issues
  • Difficulty with speech and language
  • Learning disabilities

How Medical Malpractice Causes HIE

Medical malpractice can contribute to HIE in several ways, often stemming from a failure to properly monitor or respond to signs of fetal distress. During labor and delivery, healthcare providers are responsible for closely monitoring the mother and unborn baby's vital signs, which can include tracking the baby's heart rate, the mother's blood pressure, and other indicators of overall health. Any abnormalities in these signs could indicate a problem like oxygen deprivation, which if left unaddressed, can lead to HIE.

Common scenarios in which medical malpractice can result in HIE are:

  • Failure to detect fetal distress: If an unborn child’s heart rate is too high or too low, it could indicate that they're not getting enough oxygen. Medical professionals who fail to detect or act upon these signs may be liable for any resulting injuries or disabilities.
  • Delay in performing a C-section: In certain situations, a cesarean section (C-section) may be necessary to prevent oxygen deprivation, such as when prolonged labor has put both the unborn child and the mother in danger.
  • Neglecting maternal health conditions: Some maternal health conditions, such as preeclampsia, can increase the risk of HIE. Providers who fail to properly identify and respond to these conditions could be held accountable.
  • Improper use of birth-assisting tools: Tools like forceps and vacuum extractors can help during a difficult delivery, but if used improperly, they can cause a range of injuries and complications.

Your Rights If Medical Errors Caused Your Child’s HIE

If medical errors caused your child's HIE, you likely have several legal rights and options to try to set things as right as possible. Seeking compensation for the harm caused to your child and holding responsible healthcare providers accountable through legal action should be at the top of your list of avenues to explore.

In New Mexico, parents can file a birth injury claim or medical malpractice lawsuit if they believe their child's HIE was caused by or made worse due to negligence or mistakes by medical professionals. The purpose of this lawsuit is to obtain compensation for various damages and losses, such as medical bills, future care costs, pain and suffering, and more.

To succeed in a medical malpractice claim related to HIE, you generally need to prove four elements:

  1. The healthcare provider owed a duty of care to the patient (you and your child).
  2. The provider breached that duty, usually by failing to meet accepted medical care standards.
  3. The breach directly resulted in injury or harm, such as causing HIE.
  4. The harm led to specific damages, like pain, suffering, disabilities, and financial losses.

At James Wood Law, we have deliberately focused our practice on complex and high-stakes medical malpractice cases, including those that involve hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. We can help you understand your legal rights after your child was born with HIE, so you can decide if you want to start a claim. If you do have a valid claim to pursue and we’re the right fit for your case, we can tell you more about the many ways we can help, such as gathering evidence, attempting to negotiate settlements with insurance companies, and representing you in court if necessary.

Demand Justice for Your Child – We Can Help

If medical errors caused your child's HIE, reach out to James Wood Law in Albuquerque, New Mexico today. We understand the ways that medical malpractice can result in HIE, and how HIE complications might impact your child’s life, potentially permanently. Compensation may be available to cover past and future harm and losses related to your child’s HIE, and we know how to fight for it. Let us stand up for your rights and your child’s future today.

Get a free consultation with James Wood Law. Dial (505) 906-6774 at any time. We can go to your home or hospital room for your convenience.

  • American Association for Justice - President's Club
  • Super Lawyers
  • AV Preeminent
  • The National Trial Lawyers
  • Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Super Lawyers | James F. Wood
  • National Board of Legal Specialty Certification
  • Trial Lawyers College of Thunderhead Ranch
  • Board Certified Civil Law Trial Specialist
  • Avvo 10.0 Rating

Why We Should Be Your First Choice

  • Multiple Verdicts and Settlements Obtained of $1 Million or More
  • Tried More Than 50 Cases to a Jury & Settled More Than 150 Cases
  • Board Certified Trial Lawyer by the National Board of Trial Advocacy
  • Rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell®

Let's Get Started Together on Your Case

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