When did the HIE injury occur? This is a question that some parents have, especially in cases where it seems that the doctors and medical providers are suggesting that the parents may be the cause of the injury. For clarification, when I say that the parents may be the cause of the injury, I am referring to the cases in which genetics and other causes are suggested as to the reason that a baby has suffered a brain injury.


I am adding more clarity to this subject as a response to a video I did a few days ago focusing on the outlook for babies who have been diagnosed with HIE. I stressed in that video, and supplemental article, that a child with HIE will have an outcome that may vary against another child. This is due to a lot of factors, such as severity of the injury and what part(s) of the brain injured. At the conclusion of this article you should be able to understand some of the critical analysis present when trying to figure when did the HIE injury occur.




Above I briefly mentioned how in some cases doctors, when defending a birth trauma claim, attempt to point to as the cause of the brain injury something that happened beyond their control. For example, they may suggest that the baby suffered a stroke during development and already had a brain injury when mom presented to the labor and delivery room. Another example may be that the reason for the brain injury and subsequent HIE diagnosis is because of a genetic condition. Both things can happen, however, not every HIE diagnosis will be because of a stroke, or genetics. In some cases, the reason for the HIE diagnosis is because of something that the doctors and/or nurses will have failed to do during labor and delivery.


Defense attorneys who represent doctors and nurses in birth trauma cases will look to other possible causes of the injury to attempt to deflect responsibility. For some parents, the actions are the direct cause of the HIE diagnosis and below I will explain why attempting to time the brain injury is important and why it matters from a medical legal standpoint.




One of the ways that we know that we may have suffered an injury is by inspecting the body. For example, if you are hit hard enough on the arm, you may suffer a bruise. With that said, the bruise is more than like not going to emerge the exact second following the blow to the arm. Quite the opposite usually happens, as the bruise will more than likely reveal itself after a little time has elapsed. Think of a brain injury the case way.


If a baby has suffered a stroke during pregnancy, or some other type of injury to the brain, it may take a little time for the injury to reveal itself on brain scans and imaging. In cases in which a baby has all the signs of suffering a brain injury, head scans may be done following birth. There is a strong argument to be made that if the baby has immediate signs of a brain injury on the scans, the injury might pre-date labor and delivery. However, if the initial scans reveal a pretty normal brain, but after time passes and other scans are done and the brain injury shows up on the subsequent scans, then an argument can be made that the injury to the brain might have happened during labor and delivery, especially if the fetal heart strips support a baby in distress.


Birth injury and birth trauma attorneys like myself will look at this type of information when doing an investigation for a family. Remember, as a part of these cases, we must prove that the cause of the injury was something that the medical professionals/hospital did and not something else. If the medical professionals are not the cause of the injury, then this is something that we must also explain to families and not move forward with a case. This should help give you guidance as to some of the issues present when a HIE attorney is helping a family find answers.




If you want to talk more about your baby’s HIE diagnosis just call me. I can be reached for further discussion at 301-850-4832. I talk with families all the time about birth trauma related injuries 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. blgesq.com