Did umbilical cord compression cause your baby’s HIE brain injury? This question is one that was posed to us following my previous post. Once a baby suffers an HIE brain injury it is normal for parents to start asking questions as to how something like this could have happened.


For this post I will talk about one of the most common ways that we see a baby suffer an HIE brain injury. If you are new to this journey, please remember that there are professionals who can help you understand things like what caused the injury.


Did Umbilical Cord Compression Cause Your Baby’s HIE Brain Injury?


First let me begin by saying that there can be multiple things which can lead a baby to suffer an HIE brain injury. For example, genetic and developmental issues can lead a baby to suffer this type of injury. In most instances when the previously mentioned things occur, medical malpractice might not be the cause of the injury. On the other hand, when medical malpractice is the cause, many families demand that the people responsible for the injury be held accountable. In those cases, this is when a birth injury attorney like myself can step in and help a family.


HIE is essentially in our context a reduction of oxygenated blood which can lead a baby to suffer a brain injury. Umbilical cord compression is the type of thing which can lead to a reduction in oxygenated blood. If mom is giving birth in a hospital then there will be monitors tracking the baby’s wellbeing. One important aspect of these monitors is that they can give readings in real time as to how well a baby is tolerating a vaginal delivery. A main feature of umbilical cord compression is a big drop in the fetal heart rate. This drop in some instances can put the heart rate in the range of bradycardia. If this happens and goes unchecked and proper actions are not taken, then the baby can in some cases suffer an HIE injury.


With the above stated, I am in no way saying that cord compression will always lead toa brain injury. This is because for example, a baby might pen the cord for a few seconds and then free it. When this happens, an injury might not occur because the compression was so short. On the other hand, let us say that during labor and delivery there is a time when the cord becomes wrapped around the baby’s neck. We will add to this that the cord, as the baby moves down the birth canal, becomes compressed in such a way that the amount of oxygenated blood to the baby becomes less and less. The fetal heart monitor, which is tracking the heart rate in real time, is more than likely placing the medical staff on notice that the baby is having problems. If all of this goes on long enough to deplete the baby’s reserves, a traumatic brain injury like HIE can occur. When ultrasound and MRI patterns line up, along with the fetal strip readings, a strong argument can be made in the above example that medical malpractice is what has caused this HIE brain injury at birth.


If you have more questions as to the cause of your baby’s HIE brain injury at birth, I invite you to contact me at my contact info below. It costs you nothing initially to speak with my about your baby’s story and I would be honored to listen to it.


Marcus B. Boston, Esq.

Boston Law Group, LLC

9701 Apollo Dr. Suite 100

Largo, Maryland 20774



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 blgesq Maryland birth injury attorneys