How can hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy cause a brain injury in my baby? For many parents who have a child who has suffered a brain injury, finding answers can sometimes be hard and confusing. It has been my experience talking to parents that in their quest to find answers regarding their child’s brain injury, it can sometimes seem that doctors and other medical professionals are not as forthcoming regarding the causes of the injury.


As parents do get a better understanding of the issues, the question of whether medical malpractice played a role in the injury can come to mind for some parents. The focus of this Maryland medical malpractice educational article is to shed some light on HIE and how it can lead to a brain injury if not properly diagnosed and treated.




Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy is a serious medical condition. To get a good understanding of the condition a good place to start is the break down of the three words. When the word hypoxic is used in this context a good way to understand it is to think of oxygen. Ischemic, the second word, deals with blood flow. Finally, encephalopathy means an injury to the brain. When all three words are put together we have a reduced level of blood and oxygen which leads to a brain injury.


Some of the following are possible risk factors for HIE:


  • Premature birth
  • Shoulder dystocia
  • Failure to monitor the fetal heart monitor
  • Placenta/Uterus problems
  • Failure/Delay in performing an emergency C-section





To the question above of how can hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy cause a brain injury, the answer lies in the fact that when a baby suffers from a reduced level of blood and oxygen, an injury to the brain can occur. Because the birthing process is traumatic in nature, the baby has some natural mechanisms which allow it to deal with the trauma of birth. With that said, if the baby is not tolerating a vaginal delivery, then doctors must move to other options of treatment to help the baby, namely an emergency C-section if other treatments have failed.


Doctors can understand the wellbeing of the baby by reviewing the tracings of the electronic fetal heart monitor. This monitor, which is used in most hospitals across the country, measures the child’s heartbeat, accelerations, the presence of decelerations, variability, etc.…When the monitor reveals that the baby is in trouble, doctors must act and not delay the C-section if warranted.




If you would like to speak with me further about how can hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy cause a brain injury in my baby, this is what I invite you to do. Pick up the phone and give me a call. I can be reached at 301-850-4832. I answer Maryland birth injury and medical malpractice questions just like yours all the time and I will be happy to listen to your story.


Marcus B. Boston, Esq.

Boston Law Group, LLC

2 Wisconsin Circle, Suite 700

Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815


1-833-4 BABY HELP


Marcus Boston is a Maryland medical malpractice attorney who helps people navigate the Maryland childbirth injury and medical malpractice process to get money for their injuries caused by the carelessness of doctors and hospitals. BLG handles cases in Prince George’s County, Baltimore City, Montgomery County, Howard County, Anne Arundel County, and all other Maryland Counties.