Consistent Successfor Over 25 Years
Steven M. Sweat, Personal Injury Lawyers, APC
Justia Lawyer Rating for Steven M. Sweat
BBB Rating A+
Avvo Rating 10.0 Top Attorney
Top 100 Trial Lawyers
10 Best 2018 Attorney - Client satisfaction
Multi-million Dollar Advocates Forum
Super Lawyers - Steven M. Sweat - 10 Years
The State Bar of California
Client Champion Silver 2020
Lead Counsel
Top 10 - Personal Injury Lawyer

Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy: A Significant Factor in Fetal Brain Damage Death

One matter that is of high importance that is currently pending on my office is about a boy that sustained an injury on his brain due to the doctor’s delay in performing a C-section. Due to this injury, the boy contracted a condition known as hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy or HIE in short, which is also called perinatal encephalopathy. This is a result of the brain not being able to receive enough oxygen, known medically as hypoxia. HIE refers to all brain injuries that are caused by oxygen deprivation or hypoxia, but is only referred to injuries that are common amongst newborns which can cause long-term to permanent disability and, in worst cases, death.

HIE in newborns are most usually caused by injuries or complications in time of birth where the fetus suffers from hypoxia. Some known causes of HIE include:

  • An injury during birth / labor process
  • Perinatal asphyxia
  • Complications faced due to late and / or delayed delivery
  • Umbilical cord tied on the neck of the baby
  • An injury done to the brain, or the head are, during birth / labor process

According to the latest data, in United States, Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy is in at least one to eight out of 1,000 births. If the HIE is severe, the rate of mortality is set at 20%, resulting to the death of the baby during his or her first weeks of life. Survivors, however, are left developing permanent defects which may leave him or her impaired for the rest of his or her life. For infants that survive fatal HIE, 80% of them will develop complications on their life, while 10-20% will develop moderate complications, and the remaining 10% having no complications at all. For infants with moderately severe Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy, 30-50% will have serious diseases during their growing-up years, while 10-20% will have minor complications.

Hypoxia and HIE does not occur on the whole brain area, but rather, on only one part of brain. Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy subsequently leads to brain injury as a result of hypoxia and less blood flow. In order to function properly, brain cells must receive a constant supply of oxygen-rich blood. Should it fail to receive oxygen and oxygen-rich blood, it will not function properly and may die. For an infant, 5 minutes of oxygen deprivation is a matter of life and death, as this may result in irreversible brain damage or cerebral palsy.

The damage done to the brain largely depends on the time the brain functions without enough oxygen. A few seconds of oxygen deprivation may only result to neglegible brain cell injury while few minutes of oxygen deprivation can cause massive and irreparable damage to the brain, including hippocampus, which is a vital part of the brain.

Regardless of how long or how short the brain functions without a steady supply of oxygen, the victim might suffer from a whole slew of diseases, such as long-term or permanent disability, epilepsy, seizures, mental retardation, delayed growth development, learning disability and cerebral palsy.

To properly diagnose HIE, physical exams, accompanying other tests like MRI scan, CT scan, electrocardiogram (ECG / EKG), electroencephalogram (EEG), blood test, or ultrasound are needed. Treating HIE involves resuscitation (if patient faints), mechanical ventilation to ensure and help with proper breathing.

For Further Information on Oxygen Deprivation at Birth:
Client Reviews
I have known Steven for some time now and when his services were required he jumped in and took control of my cases. I had two and they were handled with the utmost professionalism and courtesy. He went the extra mile regardless of the bumps in the road. I can not see me using any other attorney and I would recommend him to any of my family and friends. Josie A.
Steven was vital during our most trying time. He was referred by a friend after an accident that involved a family member. While he was critical and lying in the hospital, Steven was kind, patient and knowledgeable about what we were going through. Following our loss, Steven became a tough and aggressive negotiator and made sure that we receive a huge compensation. I would refer Steven in fact, this happened 2 years ago and I still speak highly of his service. Cheryl S.
Mr. Sweat is a pitbull in the courtroom as well as settlement negotiations - You can't have a better equipped attorney in your corner! It is a pleasure working as colleagues together on numerous cases. He can get the job done. Jonathan K.
Because of Steven Sweat, my medical support was taken care of. Plus, I had more money to spare for my other bills. Steven is not only an excellent personal injury lawyer, providing the best legal advice, but also a professional lawyer who goes beyond his call of duty just to help his clients! He stood up for me and helped me get through the process. I would definitely recommend. I couldn't think of any better lawyer than him. MiraJane C.
I must tell anyone, if you need a great attorney, Steve sweat is the guy! I had an awful car accident and had no idea where to turn. He had so much to deal with because my accident was a 4 car pile up. Not to mention all the other cars were behind me and they were not wanting to settle in any way! He never stopped working for me and had my best interest at heart! Audra W.
I believe I made the best choice with Steven M Sweat, Personal Injury. I was very reluctant to go forward with my personal injury claim. I had a valid claim and I needed a professional attorney to handle it. I felt so much better when I let Steven take my case. His team did everything right and I am very satisfied. Stia P.
I have to say that Steve has been exemplary! I met Steve at a point with my case that I was ready to give up. He took the time and dealt with all of my concerns. Most importantly, he was present and listened to what I was going through. He was able to turn things around, put me and my case on the right track! The results were better that expected! Highly recommend!! Cody A.