Does your baby have a hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy diagnosis and now you are wondering what is the next step? This was a question that was posed to me by a father who had just been given a hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy diagnosis for his baby. For him, the main question was what can he ask the doctors regarding possible treatment and how could this have occurred?


In this birth injury article, I am going to focus mostly on the what’s next part of this situation, with a quick discussion on hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy and how it can manifest itself during a vaginal delivery.




When children have a hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy diagnosis, for many parents, the first question is who did this happen? Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy is a medical condition which can be broken down into three separate words for the purpose of my article. The easiest way to understand the condition is to know that hypoxic deals with oxygen. Ischemic means blood, or blood flow, and encephalopathy means brain injury. When you put the words back together you get a reduced level of blood and oxygen, which leads to a brain injury.


During labor a delivery, which a child is in fetal distress (no longer tolerating a vaginal delivery), doctors must move to properly diagnose the fetal distress and treat it accordingly. Failure to properly diagnose and treat fetal distress can lead to a brain injury. In some cases, when conservative treatments are not working, doctors must be ready to move to an emergency C-Section when warranted. Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy can go hand in hand in some cases with prolonged fetal distress.





As I stated above, the idea for this article came from a father that I spoke with who essentially wanted to know what was next regarding the questions for the doctor. In my opinion, one of the main things you want to know when your baby has a hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy diagnosis is what area(s) of the brain are injured. In addition, how will the injury manifest itself with your baby. The brain is an important organ in the body. It controls not only many of our everyday functions, but it also is responsible for our cognitive abilities, etc…. Knowing how the brain has been impacted following a hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy diagnosis can help with potential treatment now, and into the future.


A hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy diagnosis can also lead to a cerebral palsy diagnosis in some children. With that said, in some cases, children can have mild symptoms from hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. On the other hand, some children can have severe symptoms from hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. Not one size fits all when we are talking about HIE so it is important to get as much information from your doctor as possible regarding the area(s) of the brain injured and the potential treatment.




Hopefully now you can see how oxygen levels at birth can be the cause of a baby’s brain injury and hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy diagnosis can be. Doctors must correctly monitor a baby during labor and delivery for fetal distress and treat the condition accordingly. When conservative treatments do not work, doctors must be ready to move to an emergency C-section when warranted. Failure to diagnose and treat fetal distress the right way can lead to a baby suffering a brain injury and being diagnosed with a subsequent cerebral palsy condition.


To speak with me further regarding the options ahead for your baby pick up the phone and give me a call. I can be reached at 301-850-4832. I answer questions regarding labor and delivery, brain injuries, cerebral palsy diagnosis, and much more surrounding birth injuries all the time and I would 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.