What problems will my baby have long-term as a result of hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE)?

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

Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), or birth asphyxia, can result in long-term physical, mental and cognitive problems. Usually, 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.


Michigan HIE AttorneysThe 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.

Trusted Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy Attorneys

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.

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