What can cause HIE? In other words, what is one thing that can lead to hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy during a vaginal delivery? If you are reading this Maryland birth injury article because you have just been informed of the medical condition HIE, this article may help you get a better understanding of the issues from a medical/legal standpoint.


Because HIE is a serious medical condition, it is important that parents get as much information regarding their child’s condition from doctors as possible. If you are just learning about the condition, no thanks to any of your medical professionals, then this article may be a good springboard into future areas of research on your part.




HIE, as mentioned above, is short for hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. To understand the condition, I will break the words up. The easiest way to understand hypoxic is to look at it from an oxygen standpoint. It deals with oxygen. Ischemic means blood, and encephalopathy means a brain injury. So, if we bring the words back together we get a reduced level of blood and oxygen which leads to a brain injury.


HIE is a condition that has to be closely monitored for in the delivery room. This is because the condition can not only mean a brain injury, but death can result if a baby has to go on too long with a reduced level of blood and oxygen.




There can be many causes of HIE. But for the purpose of this article, I will discuss one important cause, umbilical cord prolapse. Umbilical cord prolapse occurs when the cord is delivered before the baby. Normally, the baby’s head is delivered first, not the cord. One of the main concerns regarding cord prolapse is compression of the umbilical cord. As some have stated in the past, the umbilical cord is the baby’s lifeline, as it provides blood, oxygen, and other nutrients to the baby.


Compression of the baby’s umbilical cord can lead to a reduced level of blood and oxygen. This reduction of blood and oxygen can lead to HIE in the baby. Doctors and nurses can use the electronic fetal heart monitor to assess the baby’s wellbeing.


The electronic fetal heart monitor is used to assess how well a baby is tolerating a vaginal delivery. Doctors and nurses can see a sharp decline in the baby’s heart rate when compression occurs. If doctors and nurses do not work to correct the baby’s fetal distress, then HIE can occur. Doctors have to be ready to move to a C-section when warranted or the baby might develop a brain injury, or eve death in some cases.




What can cause HIE? Hopefully now you have a better understanding as to how one medical condition can lead to HIE. If you would like to speak with me further regarding your baby’s brain injury, 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. blgesq.com