Today we will be discussing a baby’s HIE birth injury and brain imaging patterns. This issue was one that came up a lot offline during our trip to Europe for a recent birth injury conference. The context of this educational article and supporting video is when we perform a birth injury investigation for a family, what are some of the things which can send the investigation into a challenging front.


At the end of the day, these are some of the hardest cases we face because in many instances when the facts are revealed like what is discussed below, we will not be able to assist the family. With that said, we still work to make sure that there is no other options for us before we decline and at the end of the day, these are just our opinions. Another attorney or law firm might come to a different conclusion and we always suggest to client to have another attorney review for a potential different point of view.

What Is An HIE Birth Injury In A Baby?


HIE or hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy is a type of traumatic brain injury that can be suffered by babies. One of the core questions for families after an HIE diagnosis is how did this happen. What the family is generally asking is whether this injury was caused by medical malpractice or something else?


Generally, after months or even years of moving through this process, the family will reach out to a birth injury law firm for help. It is at this point that, if the family reaches out to us, a birth injury is performed to help understand the cause of the HIE birth injury.

Baby’s HIE Birth Injury And Brain Imaging Patterns


Along with fetal heart strips, brain imaging patterns are extremely important in HIE brain injury cases. A 24 hour head ultrasound can also be helpful in understanding brain injury issues, especially if the imaging reveals pretty normal readings within that 24 hour window after birth.


As for MRI brain imaging patterns, the science and medicine tells us that in general when an HIE brain injury occurs, the MRI will reveal certain injury patterns. In many instances the basal ganglia and thalamus will be injured. There also may be a watershed injury involving certain white matter in the brain, among other things. These types of patterns, when present, along with concerning readings on the fetal heart monitor and poor umbilical cord gas readings allow for a strong argument to be made that the HIE event occurred more than likely during labor and delivery.


Problems can arise for us during our investigations when the MRI brain patterns do not line up and there are no real issues on the electronic fetal heart monitor. In addition, it is no shock to see under this set of facts that the umbilical cord gas readings, if done, might be normal.


For us when glaring pieces of the puzzle are missing then we have to step back and really assess where we are in the process. Moving forward on a birth injury case when we have no good explanations as to the missing pieces allow for defense attorneys to be able to swoop in and muddy the waters with plausible defenses and make our experts susceptible to attacks on multiple fronts.


With the above stated, if you have questions regarding the case of your baby’s HIE brain injury at birth I invite you to give me a call at my contact information below. I would be honored to listen to your baby’s story.

Marcus B. Boston, Esq.   

Boston Law Group, LLC

9701 Apollo Dr. Suite 100

Largo, Maryland 20774


1-833-4 BABY HELP