In the previous section, we talked about Treating Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy, or HIE. In this section, we will resume with a discussion of conditions that are related to, or often co-occur with HIE.
This information has been compiled from government sources, medical sources, and from consulting with experts on HIE.
Read on to learn about conditions related to HIE.
What Conditions are Related to HIE?
It’s important to note that HIE can affect virtually any and all parts of the brain. As a result, brain damage as a result of HIE can lead to additional health problems, conditions, and disabilities.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to diagnose HIE immediately. Many parents don’t receive an official diagnosis until they begin to notice that their infant is not hitting developmental milestones. Conditions that stem from HIE may take even longer to diagnose. The brain injury itself won’t increase or continue damaging the brain— however, new symptoms of HIE or additional conditions may appear as your child ages.
Getting help for a child with HIE or Cerebral Palsy
can make a big difference
Because early intervention is often key to helping improve a child’s wellbeing, it’s important to act swiftly. At the Brown Trial Firm, our Houston birth injury attorneys can help you investigate your case, find answers to your questions, and determine whether you are entitled to compensation. We offer case reviews at no cost or obligation. Many birth injuries that cause cerebral palsy could have been prevented.
Cerebral Palsy is heavily associated with HIE. However, HIE is not the sole cause of palsy and its prevalence in causing Cerebral Palsy is still debated among medical professionals.
Still, it certainly makes sense how HIE could lead to Cerebral Palsy. Brain damage is often a significant cause of Cerebral Palsy.
Such damage usually occurs during pregnancy, birth, and within the first few years of the child’s life. For the former timeline, HIE could very well be a likely culprit.
Many of the symptoms of HIE and Cerebral Palsy are shared. These symptoms include:
- Muscle weakness
- Difficulty moving, crawling, and walking
- Delays in motor skill milestones
- Problems with eating
- Speech delays
Just as well, the same treatments for HIE are often associated with Cerebral Palsy. Physical and occupational therapy are often utilized to help children with these conditions relieve pain and live independently.
Stem cell therapy is currently a hot topic in the treatment world. It could possibly be used by people with HIE and cerebral palsy, though this form of therapy is still going through clinical trials and remains inaccessible.
Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities or Delays
Cognitive delays can be a very common symptom of HIE, especially in severe cases of brain damage. Such intellectual and developmental disabilities can vary in severity, and some children with HIE may not exhibit cognitive delays whatsoever.
Sometimes, parents may notice that their child is not learning how to speak or respond to stimuli at the same time as other infants. This can be very concerning and may be a symptom of a cognitive disability. The only way to know for sure is to receive a formal diagnosis.
There are many treatments for developmental disability, most of which are occupational therapies designed to help children become more self-dependent. Unfortunately, brain damage associated with developmental disabilities cannot be cured or reversed.
In some (but not all) cases of HIE, seizures can become a reoccurring issue. Seizures immediately after birth are one of the key indicators of a brain injury like HIE.
Seizures are typically diagnosed via an electroencephalogram (EEG) test. Luckily, neonatal seizures can be treated. Seizures in children are usually very different from treatment for adults. Various medications, therapies, and surgeries can be performed to treat seizures in children.
Intracranial hemorrhages or “brain bleeds” can result from more traumatic brain injuries. This condition refers to bleeding that happens inside the brain or skull of a child, typically during labor. Both brain bleeds and HIE can be diagnosed at the same time and one could very well cause the other.
Brain bleeding can be caused by numerous things, such as ruptured blood vessels, stroke, and membrane bleeding.
Allen, K., & Brandon, D. (2011). Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy: Pathophysiology and Experimental Treatments. Newborn And Infant Nursing Reviews, 11(3), 125-133. doi:10.1053/j.nainr.2011.07.004
UpToDate. (2019). Uptodate.com. Retrieved 18 November 2019, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/clinical-features-diagnosis-and-treatment-of-neonatal-encephalopathy
Help for Children with HIE – Brown Trial Firm. (2019). Brown Trial Firm. Retrieved 18 November 2019, from https://browntrialfirm.com/hypoxic-ischemic-encephalopathy-hie/
Fatemi, A., Wilson, M., & Johnston, M. (2009). Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy in the Term Infant. Clinics In Perinatology, 36(4), 835-858. doi:10.1016/j.clp.2009.07.011