Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy occurs when the fetal brain does receive enough oxygen. Often referred
to as “HIE,” Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy can lead to permanent
brain damage,
cerebral palsy, and death. Common factors that cause HIE include umbilical cord entanglement
or prolapse, placental abruption and excessive uterine stimulation. To
better understand the condition, we’ve listed

10 Facts About Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy:

  1. HIE affects an average of 3-5 newborns out of every 1,000 live births.
    [1]
  2. Of the 70-80% of cases of cerebral palsy caused by antepartum injury, an
    average 20% of cases occur because of birth asphyxia.
    [2]
  3. Whole body hypothermia is one of the methods used to treat infants suffering
    from hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy.
    [3]
  4. Up to 60% of babies affected by HIE die within the newborn stage.
    [4]
  5. Of the babies who survive HIE, 25% of them sustain long-term neurological
    impairments.[5]
  6. HIE is a specific case of neonatal encephalopathy (NE). Not all NE cases are HIE.
    [6]
  7. The presence of stool in the amniotic fluid (meconium) can be associated
    with intrapartum stress but it alone does not prove that HIE was caused
    by events during labor or delivery.
    [7]
  8. Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy primarily affects the deep gray matter
    of a baby’s brain when there is profound, near total asphyxia. Intermittent
    periods of partial asphyxia can cause damage to the cortical, white matter areas.
    [8]
  9. The types of cerebral palsy that is associated with an event that occurred
    during labor or delivery typically effect all four limbs (spastic quadriplegia
    or Dyskinetic cerebral palsy). Other types of cerebral palsy are less
    likely to be associated with medical negligence.[9]
  10. Babies injured from HIE during the birth process are profoundly depressed
    at birth with very low APGAR scores at 1, 5 and 10 minutes. Children who
    first develop or display cognitive or physical deficits as toddlers or
    in early childhood were not the victims of HIE caused by
    medical malpractice.[10]

Doctors, obstetricians, and midwives have a responsibility to practice
according to the accepted standard of care when managing labor and delivery.
This means that they must monitor the tracings of electronic fetal heart
monitors for signs of fetal distress. If they fail to do so, the results
can be catastrophic. If your baby suffered hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy
and sustained serious brain damage,
contact our
Houston birth injury attorneys for a free consultation.

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[1] Levene MI, Sands C, Grindulis H, et al. Comparison of two methods of predicting
outcome in perinatal asphyxia.
Lancet1986;1:67–69.

[2] Badawi N, Kurinczuk JJ, Keogh JM, et al. Intrapartum risk factors for newborn encephalopathy: The Western Australian
case-control study.
BMJ 1998;317:15541558.

[3] Shankaran, Seetha, Abbot R Laptook, Jon E Tyson, Richard A Ehrenkranz,
Carla M Bann, Abhik Das, Rosemary D Higgins, Rebecca Bara, Athina Pappas,
Scott A McDonald, Ronald N Goldberg, and Michele C Walsh. “Evolution
of Encephalopathy During Whole Body Hypothermia for Neonatal Hypoxic-Ischemic
Encephalopathy.”
The Journal of Pediatrics, 160.4 (2012): 567-572.e3.

[4] Vannucci RC. Current and potentially new management strategies for perinatal hypoxic-ischemic
encephalopathy.
Pediatrics1990;85:961968.

[5] Vannucci RC. Current and potentially new management strategies for perinatal hypoxic-ischemic
encephalopathy.
Pediatrics1990;85:961968.

[6] Dickey, E.J, S.N Long, and R.W Hunt. “Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy—What
Can We Learn from Humans?.”
Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 25.6 (2011): 1231-1240.

[7] Hayes, BC, C McGarvey, S Mulvany, J Kennedy, MP Geary, TG Matthews, and
MD King. “A Case-control Study of Hypoxic-ischemic Encephalopathy
in Newborn Infants at > 36 Weeks Gestation.”
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 209.1 (2013): 29.e1-29.e19.

[8] Kumar, Sailesh, and Sara Paterson-Brown. “Obstetric Aspects of Hypoxic
Ischemic Encephalopathy.”
Early Human Development, 86.6 (2010): 339-344.

[9]Neonatal Encephalopathy and Neurologic Outcome, 2nd ed., p. 211.

[10]
Id.