Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy FAQ

Q: What are the long-term effects of hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE)?

A: Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) – or birth asphyxia – can result in long-term physical, mental and cognitive problems. Usually,Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) Lawyers discuss HIE long-term effects. HIE is diagnosed early. Other times, however, the brain damage from HIE is not discovered until years after the hypoxic event, when a child fails to meet certain developmental milestones.

The severity of the disabilities is dependent upon how long the oxygen deprivation lasted, the condition of the baby at the time of the deprivation and how severe the oxygen deprivation was. A child deprived for a short time will likely have less disability than a child that was without oxygen for a longer time. Some of the typical long-term effects of hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) include the following:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Epilepsy, seizure disorder
  • Severe hearing impairment
  • Blindness or severe vision impairment
  • Problems learning, thinking and speaking. This is called cognitive developmental problems and is often accompanied by a low mental development index (MDI) score.
  • Problems with walking and coordination, also called motor and behavioral developmental problems, which results in a low psychomotor development index (PDI) score.


The long-term effects of hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) can be devastating. It’s especially tragic when the circumstances surrounding the hypoxic event may have been preventable. If your child suffers from any of the permanent disabilities above and you believe there may have been mistakes made during labor and delivery, Reiter & Walsh ABC Law Centers can help.

Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) Lawyers Jesse Reiter & Rebecca WalshThe birth injury attorneys at Reiter & Walsh have helped dozens of families affected by hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE).  Attorney Jesse Reiter, president of ABC Law Centers, has been focusing solely on birth injury cases for over 28 years, and most of his cases involve hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) and cerebral palsy.  Partners Jesse Reiter and Rebecca Walsh are currently recognized as two of the best medical malpractice lawyers in America by U.S. News and World Report 2015, which also recognized ABC Law Centers as one of the best medical malpractice law firms in the nation.  The lawyers at ABC Law Centers have won numerous awards for their advocacy of children and are members of the Birth Trauma Litigation Group (BTLG) and the Michigan Association for Justice (MAJ). In fact, Jesse Reiter is one of only 2 attorneys in Michigan to ever be elected Chair of the BTLG.

If your child experienced a birth injury and now has seizures, HIE, brain damage, cerebral palsy or any other long-term condition, contact Reiter & Walsh today at 888-419-BABY.  Our award-winning birth injury lawyers are available 24/7 to speak with you.


Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) Lawyers Discuss the Long-Term Outlook for a Child with HIE. Watch a video of birth injury attorney Jesse Reiter discussing the long-term effects of hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). HIE can often be prevented if the baby is quickly delivered at the first signs of distress.  Failure to quickly deliver the baby can cause prolonged oxygen deprivation, HIE, permanent brain damage and conditions such as cerebral palsy.