So, the question for today’s voice chat is what is birth asphyxia and how can this medical condition play a role in an HIE diagnosis? In many of our videos we discuss blood and oxygen levels and how reductions in blood and oxygen can harm a baby, especially if this is allowed to persist for a considerable amount of time. With that said, birth asphyxia can be a little different.

What Is Birth Asphyxia?

Birth asphyxia is a cut off, or lack of blood and oxygen to the brain. A baby can suffer the impact of the condition during pregnancy, during labor, and immediately following birth. During labor and delivery, with the help of the electronic fetal heart monitor, doctors and nurses can tell in real time if a baby is struggling with an asphyxia event.

For example, umbilical cord compression in some cases can create a complete cutoff of blood and oxygen to a baby, as will a true knot in the umbilical cord, in some instances. During labor and delivery, if there is a cord compression problem, the fetal heart monitor might reveal a sudden drop of the baby’s heart rate. If cord compression is present for a considerable amount of time, and causing blood and oxygen depravation to the baby, a traumatic brain injury can occur.

HIE & Birth Asphyxia

Birth asphyxia can lead to an HIE injury because birth asphyxia is a cut off of blood and oxygen. HIE can occur if there is a cutoff of oxygen, and this cut off is not remedied, thus leading to a brain injury. In many situations, an HIE injury can occur when there is a reduction in blood and oxygen, which is different from an acute, or complete cutoff. This reduction can be seen as a partial prolonged event. In other words, the reduction of oxygen occurs over time and is continuous.

Although the result of an HIE diagnosis can be the same with a reduction of oxygen vs. a complete cutoff, it is important to note that there are differences in the terminology.

Thanks for reading from your friends at HIE Resource Place.