Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)

hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy

When the brain is deprived of oxygen supply, it’s referred to as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), or intrapartum asphyxia, which can be fatal. HIE, as a result of fetal or neonatal asphyxia, is a leading cause of death or severe impairment among infants. Although HIE can be caused by prematurity and complications of birth, it could also suggest medical malpractice.

Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (or HIE) is one of the more serious complications that can occur during pregnancy and during delivery. If your child suffered permanent injury due to oxygen deprivation, please call Stern Law, PLLC at (800) 462-5772 to speak to an experienced member of our legal team.

What are the causes of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy?

Oxygen deprivation is caused when the brain does not receive a sufficient amount of oxygen, which may result in brain cell death and potential brain damage. While this can happen at any stage of pregnancy, there are a number of complications that can cause HIE, such as:

  • Umbilical cord compression;
  • Umbilical cord that is wrapped around the neck;
  • Positioning of the child in the womb;
  • Shoulder dystocia;
  • Cephalopelvic disproportion;
  • Macrosomia.

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Understanding Cerebral Palsy: What is HIE? from The CP Lawyer | Stern Law, PLLC on Vimeo.

What are the symptoms of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy?

An infant who has suffered from oxygen deprivation during delivery will likely manifest the following signs and symptoms:

  • Problems with oral motor functioning;
  • Breathing difficulties during sleep;
  • Low cord pH;
  • Fatigue;
  • Weakness;
  • Low Apgar score;
  • Meconium aspiration.

A parent or health care provider should detect any of the above symptoms immediately. Depending on the extent of the oxygen deprivation, a baby may suffer cerebral palsy, mild to severe brain damage, problems with mobility or – in cases of severe oxygen deprivation – death.

If you are struggling to raise a child who suffers from birth injuries due to medical negligence resulting in hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, Stern Law, PLLC is ready to assist you in any way possible. Give us a call today at (800) 462-5772 for free assistance with your claim.

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