Birth Injuries

What Are Some Of The Causes and Risk Factors for Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy?

In terms of birth trauma, there are several ways that a baby can develop hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. Parents must understand that a reduction in blood and oxygen can possibly lead to HIE. Some of the notable causes of hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy [1] are as follows:


Premature Birth


Baby Suffers A Stroke (Before Delivery/During Delivery)


Umbilical Cord Issues: These problems can lead to hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy due to the umbilical cord delivering important nutrients to the baby. One of the biggest areas of concern is cord compression and be seen in umbilical cord prolapse. Cord prolapse is a medical condition where the umbilical cord falls out of the uterus before the baby. Compression can also happen with a knotted umbilical cord (just as the name says) and nuchal cord (umbilical cord wrapped around the baby’s neck).


Shoulder Dystocia: The baby suffers an injury to their arm and or hand, and an injury to the brain can happen due to a compressed umbilical cord.


Failure To Correctly Monitor Electronic Fetal Heart Monitor: This monitors the baby’s heart rate and acts as an aide for the doctors to determine whether the baby is suffering from fetal distress.


Tachysystole: Excessive and frequent contractions during delivery. The resting period during contractions are limited.


Placenta/Uterus Problems: Rupturing of the uterine is a serious childbirth event where the wall of the uterus becomes compromised, and the components found within can pour into the abdominal cavity. This rupture can reduce the amount of blood and oxygen to the baby, which creates a hypoxic situation. Placental abruption, where the placenta detaches from the uterus, can also result in hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. Placenta previa, where the placenta covers the cervix besides growing on the top or side of the uterus, can also cause hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy due to excessive bleeding.


Baby Size & Delivery Position Issues: Cephalopelvic disproportion, where the baby’s head is too large to pass through the pelvis, can also cause HIE. Additionally, if the baby is delivered in the breech position, it can lead to hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. A breech baby is delivered feet or buttocks first and this type of delivery can lead to HIE due to umbilical cord compression.


Forceps & Vacuum Assisted Deliveries: These types of deliveries can be a culprit for hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. Head reasons can be the ending result of improper use of forceps or vacuum instruments.


Failure Or Delay In Performing C-Section

[1] University of California San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospitals Neonatal Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy

Quick Links


Cerebral Palsy






Latest Articles

How Nurses Help Families Of Newborns With An HIE Brain Injury

  Today's post will focus on how nurses help families of newborns with an HIE brain injury, but from the context of how the injury happened and if a birth injury assessment from a birth injury lawyer is warranted. As a mother who has recently given birth to a...

Decoding Your Baby’s Heart Rate In Labor And Delivery

  Our focus in today's post is decoding your baby's heart rate in labor and delivery. One does not have to be a medical doctor, or even a birth injury attorney, to understand the importance of the heart in a human. In the context of a baby who has suffered an HIE...

Important Considerations For Your Birthing Plan

  Our talk today will focus on important considerations for your birthing plan. This is a follow up to my recent video explaining critical issues that surround holistic home births. As a bonus, I will quickly cover the most common signs reported to us of a baby...

Follow Us

Join Our Newsletter

ADVERTISEMENT. The information presented on this website should not be construed to be formal legal advice. The use of this website does not establish an attorney-client relationship; however, your responses here will be kept strictly confidential. Any results set forth herein are based upon the facts of that particular case and do not represent a promise or guarantee of future outcomes. Services not available in all states based on this communication. The attorneys of Boston Law Group, LLC have represented clients throughout the United States. They practice subject to court approval in states where they are not members of the bar. Lawyers who will provide services advertised on this website and who are responsible for this website’s content are principally located at Boston Law Group, LLC, 9701 Apollo Drive, Suite 100, Largo, MD 20774.