So, the question is why are fetal strips important in the context of HIE? For families who are dealing with an HIE or hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy diagnosis, many of the question that are asked surround how did the injury occur and was there any way to prevent it? As I have stated in past videos, HIE can have multiple causes, some which are not the “fault” of anyone. With that said, there are some instances where the cause of the injury is because of birth trauma, or something that the medical professionals at the time of labor and delivery caused.


In this article, and supporting video, I will explain the basics of HIE, but the role the fetal monitor plays in assessing how well a baby is tolerating a vaginal delivery.


 What Is HIE And What Can Cause It?


If you are reading this and your baby just received an HIE diagnosis, or doctors are looking to confirm or rule out the diagnosis, HIE in our context is a reduced level of blood and oxygen which causes a brain injury in a baby. As a result, anything which can lead to a baby having a reduction in blood and oxygen can lead to HIE.


For example, the umbilical cord is important because it provides a baby with blood, oxygen, and other nutrients for survival. During labor and delivery, if the umbilical cord is compressed, there can be a reduction in the flow of blood and oxygen, thus potentially causing a brain injury.


Why Are Fetal Strips Important In The Context Of HIE?


As to why are the fetal strips important can start with the fact they can give a real time review of how well your baby is tolerating a vaginal delivery. This is important because the strips are providing data in real time as to what can be considered fetal well-being. For example, the strips will record the baby’s heartbeat. If the baseline heart rate is between 110-160 beats, then that can be considered normal. A baseline rate higher than 160 can be considered tachycardia and a baseline lower than 100 can be considered bradycardia.


Not only will the strips assist with understanding the baby’s heart rate, the strips can also measure fetal variability. Variability can be classified as moderate, marked, variable, minimal, and sinusoidal.


Understanding the baby’s reading on the fetal heart monitor, along with mom’s contraction patterns, help doctors and nurses determine whether a baby is in a condition called fetal distress. One of the main reasons that fetal distress can be problematic for baby is because it can be an indicator that the baby is having blood and oxygen problems.


As discussed above, blood and oxygen issues can lead to a possible HIE diagnosis. Therefore birth injury attorneys like me will want to review the fetal heart strips to understand whether the cause of the HIE diagnosis, or brain injury was due to something caused by the doctors, nurses, and hospital.


Why are fetal strips important in the context of HIE? Hopefully now you can understand how the fetal heart strips help understand the possible cause of the HIE diagnosis. Especially, considering a baby with no genetic, or developmental issues, the fetal strips can give insight as to what happened during labor and delivery.


To speak with me further pick up the phone and give me a call. I speak with families like yours all the time and I would be happy to listen to your baby’s 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 Maryland birth injury attorneys