HIE can cause long term problems for your baby. Get your questions answered by birth injury attorneys and find out what causes HIE.

What is anoxic brain injury?

The term hypoxia refers to a deficient amount of oxygen reaching the tissues. Anoxia describes an absence of oxygen reaching the tissues. Infants may be deprived of oxygen around the time of birth, and sustain hypoxic brain damage, also known as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). Sometimes, a severe case of HIE may be referred to as…

What criteria do doctors use to decide whether a baby should get hypothermia therapy?

There are many criteria that physicians use to determine whether a baby should get therapeutic hypothermia (brain cooling). Medical professionals first must determine if an infant has hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). This is very important, as medical staff will only provide hypothermia treatment if there is an HIE diagnosis. If medical professionals fail to quickly diagnose HIE,…

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. The severity of the disabilities is dependent upon how…

How is hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) treated?

Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE), also known as ‘birth asphyxia,’ is a dangerous neonatal brain injury. HIE occurs due to oxygen deprivation and/or compromised blood flow to the brain. When this happens, brain cells die off in a cascade reaction, causing widespread brain damage. If the issue is addressed very quickly after birth, however, the damage can be…

Can improper fetal heart rate monitoring result in hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE)?

An abnormal heart rate is often the only indication that a baby is in distress and being deprived of oxygen.  If a baby’s heart rate is not being continuously monitored during labor and delivery, the baby could be experiencing oxygen deprivation without anybody noticing.  It is very important to notice oxygen deprivation because if it goes…

Can labor drugs such as Pitocin and Cytotec cause hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE)?

Pitocin (synthetic oxytocin) and Cytotec (synthetic prostaglandin) are used to speed up the process of labor. Both of these drugs can cause a condition called uterine hyperstimulation (alternative terms include tachysystole and hypertonus).  Hyperstimulation occurs when these drugs cause contractions to be too frequent, strong, or long-lasting.  When the placenta and uterus are under continuous…

Can hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) cause brain damage without causing cerebral palsy?

Yes. Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), commonly known as birth asphyxia, occurs when oxygen deprivation during or near the time of birth results in infant brain damage. This lack of oxygen is caused by reduced oxygen in the baby’s blood (hypoxemia/hypoxia) and a lack of blood flow in the baby’s brain (ischemia).  HIE is estimated to occur in about…