Inner Hero banner Image

HIE Lawyer: Hypoxic Ischaemic Encephalopathy

HIE Medical Malpractice

HIE Lawyer: Hypoxic Ischaemic Encephalopathy

Hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy refers to a type of brain damage in infants that occurs as a result of a lack of oxygen at the time of birth. Cases of HIE can range from mild to severe. It can cause minor or major neurological complications and, in some cases, even death.

While hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy is a direct result of a lack of oxygen supply to the brain, there can be a range of causes for it, with negligent medical care being one of them. If you believe there has been a breach in the duty of care that led to your child suffering from a lack of oxygen, our HIE birth injury lawyers could help.

To speak to one of our experienced team, with no obligation to proceed, call us on 0330 100 1014 or fill out our online form.

Get in touch

Hypoxic Ischaemic Encephalopathy Claims
"*" indicates required fields

What is hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy?

Hypoxic brain injury happens when a baby doesn’t have enough oxygen or blood flow to its brain. It occurs either during delivery or shortly after birth and affects around one in 1,000 babies every year in the UK. It is also referred to as neonatal hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy and birth asphyxia.

HIE can present with mild, moderate or severe consequences. More serious cases can cause long-term neurological damage, disability and, unfortunately, death in some infants. Lasting effects of hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy brain injury can include cerebral palsy, behavioural difficulties, epilepsy, problems communicating and sensory issues.

Symptoms of hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy

The signs of hypoxic ischaemic brain injury in infants are usually seen shortly after birth. These can include:

  • Reduced or increased levels of awareness
  • Irritability
  • Seizures
  • Pauses during breathing
  • Increased floppiness or stiffness

What causes hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy?

Problems during delivery and birth can cause hypoxic ischaemic injury. Factors that could contribute include:

  • Abnormally long labour
  • The infant’s shoulders becoming stuck
  • Uterine tearing
  • Placental abruption

While most cases are unpreventable, in some instances a failure in a medical professional’s duty of care can result in hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy. Delivery should be monitored and managed appropriately by the medical team to reduce any risk factors in the event of labour complications. If the maternity team failed to act accordingly, or HIE medical malpractice played a part in the severity of your baby’s condition, then you could make a claim.

Can hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy be treated?

Mild cases of hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy in a newborn generally improve without intervention. If HIE is more severe and there is a risk of long-term brain damage, the medical team might suggest a treatment called cooling.

This involves a cooling mattress which is used over a period of three days to lower the baby’s temperature to reduce the risk of long-term disability. During this time, the infant’s vital statistics are monitored and any necessary medication is administered.

Making a claim for HIE medical malpractice

Finding out your child has suffered a hypoxic ischemic brain injury can be a devastating experience, even more so if you discover that it could have been prevented. We understand how difficult it can be to come to terms with this type of diagnosis and to have to face the consequences, especially if there is long-lasting damage or, sadly, a loss of life.

Our empathetic team can help you decide whether to make a HIE medical malpractice claim. Your initial chat with us is free and there is no obligation to make a claim if you feel it’s not the right way forward for you or your family.

Why choose Freeths to help you seek compensation?

We realise how difficult it can be to make the decision to start the claims process, especially if you’re still suffering from a devastating and traumatic experience. If you do wish to proceed with a claim for HIE medical malpractice, though, you’ll want to know you can rely on your HIE birth injury lawyers.

If you choose to seek support from Freeths, you can expect:

  • A free initial chat to discuss your case with no pressure to continue.
  • A home visit if that suits you and your circumstances, as well as access to our 13 UK office locations for your convenience.
  • A personalised service every step of the way and a team of experts who will keep you updated at each stage of the claims process.
  • High-quality service from a well-respected company ranked by The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners.
  • Three lawyers who are members of the AvMA Panel as well as three Law Society accredited lawyers.
  • A professional team of HIE lawyers specialising in brain injuries at birth to help and support you with your claim.

Contact our HIE lawyers

To speak to one of our hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy lawyers or to start the claims process, call us on 0330 100 1014 or fill out our online form.

Our hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy expertise

Our accreditations

We are celebrating another year of accreditations and rankings.

Hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy claims FAQs

Meet the team

Carolyn Lowe's Profile

Carolyn Lowe

Partner & Head of Clinical Negligence for the South

Karen Reynolds's Profile

Karen Reynolds

Partner & Head of Clinical Negligence for Derby, West Midlands & North West

Jane Williams's Profile

Jane Williams

Partner, Head of Medical Negligence, East Midlands & North East

Phillip McGough's Profile

Phillip McGough

Clinical Negligence Executive

Get in touch

Contact us today

Whatever your legal needs, our wide ranging expertise is here to support you and your business, so let’s start your legal journey today and get you in touch with the right lawyer to get you started.


Get in touch

For general enquiries, please complete this form and we will direct your message to the most appropriate person.