Can you get a second opinion as to the HIE cause? To ask the question another way, if you have questions as to what caused your child’s HIE diagnosis can you get a second opinion? For families navigating the world of HIE, the cause of the diagnosis in their baby can be somewhat confusing, especially when mom had an uneventful pregnancy. By uneventful I mean that mom was consistent in her appointments and did not have any issues during pregnancy. However, at the birth of the baby it is determined that there is a HIE diagnosis and a brain injury.


In this birth injury article, I will explain why if your questions are not being answered as to the cause of the baby’s HIE diagnosis, then it is ok to get a second opinion to better understand he diagnosis and what may be ahead for your baby.




HIE is a medical condition that can occur during labor and delivery when a baby has a reduced level of blood and oxygen. For the purpose of this article, I am going to focus on HIE in the context of labor and delivery. While it is true that a baby can have a reduced level of blood and oxygen during pregnancy, it will not always hold that this is when the reduced level of blood and oxygen occurred. In some cases, the reduction in blood and oxygen will be because of something that was done or not done by doctors and nurses during labor and delivery.


One tool that doctors and nurses can use during labor and delivery to ascertain whether the baby is tolerating delivery is the electronic fetal heart monitor. This device can not only inform doctors and nurses of a baby’s heart rate during labor and delivery, it can also help determine acceleration or deceleration patterns. It can also track things like variability. When the monitor is suggesting that the baby may be in fetal distress, doctors and nurses have to properly diagnose the condition and treat it appropriately. Failure to properly diagnose and treat fetal distress can cause a baby to suffer a reduced level of blood and oxygen thus experiencing a brain injury. Remember what I said above, that HIE is in simple terms is a reduction of blood and oxygen causing a brain injury.




For some families, questions will arise as to the cause of the HIE diagnosis when the facts of the matter do not align with the reasoning. One example of this can be when the cause of the diagnosis is due to genetics. How this can happen is that the doctors may say that a genetic condition is the cause of the brain injury, but when the families follow up with the listed symptoms of the genetic diagnosis, they do not match up with what is going on with the baby.


When issues like this arise, and it seems that doctors are not explaining these inconsistencies, families can have even more questions. It is here where the question of can we get a second opinion as to the HIE cause presents itself.


In my opinion, if you think that a second opinion would help with your baby’s diagnosis and treatment, getting the second opinion is something you should do. Parents should never be afraid to advocate on behalf of their baby. The second opinion may confirm what the first doctors are saying. However, it might give an alternative reason. At the end of the day, it is answers that you need!




If you have more questions about these issues, then you should pick up the phone and call me. I talk with families all the time about HIE, CP, MAS, and other birth related issues all the time and I will be happy to talk with you.


I can be reached for further discussion at 301-850-4832.


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.