Understanding HIE, or hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy in this context is a medical condition that can be unknown to many parents until they are faced with the diagnosis. It is a type of brain injury that can have many causes. At its basic level HIE is a reduced level of blood and oxygen which can lead to a brain injury.

There can be numerus causes of the reduction of blood and oxygen. For example, if there are any issues with the umbilical cord this can lead to a reduction in blood and oxygen for the baby. A key umbilical cord issue on this front is umbilical cord compression. Placental abruption and uterine rupture are also other examples of conditions which can lead to blood and oxygen issues for a baby.

HIE is can be a type of traumatic brain injury and one way to have a better understanding of potential future challenges a baby may have is to speak with your baby’s doctors regarding the area(s) of the brain that have been injured. The severity of the injury is also something that is good to know.

Understanding what part of the brain has been injured can sometimes allow parents to get a possible feel as to the area(s) their child might need assistance. For example, our brain is responsible for a lot of our everyday functions. From swallowing food, to telling the hand to make a fist, the brain controls much of what we do.

If, due to an HIE condition, the part of the brain which is responsible for swallowing is injured, parents can be on the lookout for swallowing and eating related issues. The same can be said for limb and other related issues.

Because a reduced level of blood and oxygen can lead to an HIE diagnosis, in some cases a subsequent cerebral palsy diagnosis can occur because this condition is a movement disorder which originates from an injury to the brain.  

Thanks for reading, your friends at HIE Resource Place.