skip to content

For Over 30 Years

Aggressive Personal Injury
Legal Representation

home birth injury hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy

Atlanta Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy Lawyers

We Provide Assistance to Families Harmed by Medical Negligence

Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is a serious birth injury. Coming from the terms “hypoxia” meaning low oxygen and “ischemia” meaning blocked or restricted blood flow, HIE occurs when a fetus undergoes oxygen deprivation through chemical or mechanical means and suffers widespread brain damage as a result.

HIE is often seen along with cerebral palsy, epilepsy, intellectual disabilities, and other co-occurring conditions. It can range from mild to severe, but even moderate HIE will leave a child with lifelong health struggles. If you suspect your doctor could have prevented your child’s HIE, please call the Atlanta birth injury attorneys at Grant Law Office by dialing (404) 995-3955. We will investigate and see if you have grounds for medical malpractice lawsuit.

Back to Top

Diagnosing HIE

After a baby is delivered, doctors will test his or her Apgar score on a scale of 0, 1, or 2. The scores will be taken every few minutes, especially if the situation appears dangerous. High scores are good; low scores indicate the baby has a brain injury. Apgar has a backronym detailing its function:

  • Appearance: A baby with HIE will often be “cyanotic” or blue all over from a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream. The normal newborn skin tone is pinkish.
  • Pulse: A newborn’s pulse should be around or over 100 beats a minute, especially after going through the trauma of birth. Babies with HIE may not have any pulse at all.
  • Grimace: It’s well-known that doctors try to prompt a crying response in newborns, and this is why. If the newborn has little to no response to stimulation, it’s a sign something is wrong.
  • Activity: If the baby does not resist the flexing of his or her limbs, or show muscle tonicity, it’s another sign of brain damage.
  • Respiration: Healthy babies are able to breathe and cry. Babies with HIE often have difficulty drawing breath, and sometimes cannot breathe at all and need to be resuscitated.

There are also procedures doctors can perform, such as therapeutic hypothermia, to minimize the severity of brain damage if the baby has a consistently low Apgar score. However, another danger these newborns face is called reperfusion injury; when blood returns to the oxygen-deprived cells and they undergo a dangerous inflammatory response.

It’s estimated that HIE, also called perinatal, birth, or cerebral asphyxia, causes 23% of newborn deaths worldwide.

Back to Top

Potential Causes of HIE

Doctors have a duty to monitor a mother throughout her pregnancy and plan the birth accordingly. If there are signs the baby isn’t getting enough oxygen at any time, a C-section and intensive care may be necessary. During labor, a failure to monitor the fetal heart rate can allow brain damage to develop.

Here are some potential causes of HIE. They may impede the baby’s blood flow, deplete the oxygen in the baby’s system, or both:

It only takes four to six minutes for brain cells to start dying without oxygen, and if a complication arises during childbirth, the baby has a limited amount of “oxygen reserves” in the umbilical cord. If labor is prolonged and an emergency C-section is not performed in time, the baby will suffer some level of brain injury.

An OB/GYN, a delivery room doctor, a neonatal nurse, hospital staff, a midwife, or the hospital itself may all be responsible for a baby being diagnosed with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.

Back to Top

After a Birth Injury, Talk to a Husband and Wife Legal Team

Wayne and Kimberly Grant are parents to four children, and take birth injury cases to heart. We know medical negligence in the delivery room can devastate an entire family, destroying what should have been one of the happiest days of their lives.

When you’re represented by Grant Law Office, you receive individual attention. Our clients have serious injuries, and they need our help. We believe in strategic and thorough evidence, and pride ourselves on being down-to-earth and reachable.

Our Atlanta medical malpractice attorneys have handled severe HIE cases throughout Georgia, working to restore balance to these families and get them compensation for their child’s future care. We serve Atlanta, Riverdale, Macon, Columbus, Savannah, and Decatur. For a free case evaluation, please call (404) 995-3955.

Back to Top

Additional Information

Contact us today for a free and comprehensive case evaluation.

We require no legal retainer or upfront fees,
and you pay nothing unless we prevail.

Phone: (404) 995-3955

Our Results

Wrongful Death Day Care Case

View More

Firm News

Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure

Kim Grant participated in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure, walking over 60 miles over three days and raising ...

Habitat for Humanity

Kim and Wayne Grant have worked on two Habitat for Humanity Houses and look forward to working on more ...

Grady Hospital Volunteer Work

Kim Grant has donated volunteer hours in Atlanta, including rocking babies in the neonatal intensive care unit at Grady ...

Read more news

Our Blog


How Hotel Security Is Responsible for Your Safety

When you are a guest at a hotel, you can expect the hotel to take reasonable measures to…


What Causes Jackknife Accidents?

A jackknife accident occurs when the trailer of a truck swings out and is level with the …


If My Child Suffers a Spinal Injury, What Should I Do Next?

A spinal cord injury can result in life-changing consequences for a child. If your child has suffered …

Read more news

What you need to know about the 2-year statute of limitation law

Worried that the 2-year statute of limitations is rapidly approaching on your serious injury or medical malpractice case? Contact us and we can talk to you about the Judicial Emergency declared by the Supreme Court of Georgia and how it affects the statute of limitations for your case (in a good way.) Please call or email us through our web contact form and we would be happy to discuss your case.

Schedule a free consultation

Georgia HIE Attorney Disclaimer: The legal information offered herein by Grant Law Office, is not formal legal advice, nor is it the formation of an attorney client relationship. In order for our firm to be considered your attorney there must be a signed agreement between the client and the firm. Any results set forth herein are based solely upon the circumstances of that particular case and offer no promise or guarantee on the outcome of any other case. Please contact a lawyer for a consultation.

© 2022 Grant Law Office - All rights reserved.

Photos by Carroll Morgan - Buckhead On-Site Photography | Website Design and Legal Internet Marketing by: SLS Consulting Scholarship
*Wayne Grant has been practicing law since 1979. Grant Law Office was founded in 2000. Grant Law Offices is owned and operated by Wayne Grant, P.C.