birth injuries hie risk

Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) occurs when a newborn baby’s oxygen and blood flow to the brain are reduced resulting in brain injuries. 

It develops from the prenatal to the postnatal period. But it often occurs during labor, when infants are under extreme stress due to uterine contractions.

Generally, a child who suffers from HIE will most likely go on to have cerebral palsy and other life-long disabilities. In the United States, it occurs in 1 to 3 for every 1000 births. And the percentage of infants diagnosed with cerebral palsy ranges from 15% to 28%. 

What are the Signs and Symptoms of HIE?

Newborn babies with this type of brain injury show abnormalities in breathing, feeding, muscle tone, and reflexes. These babies also exhibit seizures, low Apgar scores, and altered levels of consciousness.

What Causes HIE?

A variety of medical complications cause HIE in newborns. And oftentimes, Medical Malpractice might be involved. 

For instance, a physician fails to identify potential issues on both the mother and child or fails to monitor their health. On the other hand, a doctor may find some issues but decides not to intervene.  

Here are some health problems and examples of Medical Malpractice that lead to birth injuries like HIE:

1. Neonatal Condition Mismanagement

Several complications during the first month of a child’s life can lead to birth injuries. Common mismanaged neonatal conditions that contribute to HIE diagnosis are: 

  • jaundice
  • respiratory distress and 
  • neonatal hypoglycemia

2. Negligent Fetal Heart Monitoring

A fetal heart monitor can show if a baby is exhibiting signs of fetal distress. But if the heart monitoring is sporadic, or no one is monitoring at all -- essential signs of danger may be missed. 

3. Medication Problems

There are cases where physicians prescribe certain medications to enhance or induce labor. One downside of this medical malpractice is that it can cause strong and frequent uterine contractions, which deprive the baby of oxygen. 

4. High-risk Pregnancy Mismanagement

Pregnant women with conditions such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia require more substantial monitoring and treatment. 

5. Infections

An infected mother can spread viruses and bacteria to the baby during labor and delivery. It happens when the medical team fails to take adequate precautions.

For instance, the physician did not prescribe the needed antibiotics. Or if the patient did not receive the indicated infections screening.

6. Continued Prolonged Labor

Prolonged labor occurs when a mother’s pelvis is smaller than normal, or if the baby is larger than normal. Uterine contractions during labor compress the umbilical cord and placenta that supply oxygen to babies. 

Medical negligence happens when a doctor did not make an offer to intervene (like an emergency C-section) to prevent prolonged labor to continue.  

Hire a New York Medical Negligence Lawyer if Medical Malpractice Contributed to Your Child’s HIE 

Since 1922, the New York City law firm of Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff has been representing the families of children with birth injuries. We have handled all aspects of Medical Malpractice NYC, which lead to HIE. 

We take pride in the results we achieve, which cut down enormous amounts of financial strains put upon families of children needing exceptional care. 

If you suspect the HIE of your child is the result of a Medical Malpractice, call Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP today at 212-344-1000 or contact us online for a free and confidential consultation.


122 East 42nd Street Suite 3800
New York, NY 10168

Tel: 212-LAWYERS

Tel: 212-697-9280



8900 Sutphin Blvd Suite 501
Queens, NY 11435

Tel: (718) 399-3100

*By Appointment Only



220-226 E 161st Street
The Bronx, NY 10451

Tel: (212) 344-1000

*By Appointment Only



1002 Dean St
Brooklyn, NY 11238

Tel: (516) 410-4445

*By Appointment Only