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What is HIE?

When the brain is deprived of sufficient supply of oxygen, it causes brain cell injury. In this process, some cells may die and some might just survive. A common cause for oxygen deprivation to the brain is low oxygen levels in the blood or perhaps, reduced flow of oxygen to the brain. As a matter of fact, there are a number of ways to how this may just happen such as before birth, during birth process, after birth and to some, during childhood.

Perinatal asphyxia, perinatal encephalopathy, neonatal encephalopathy or birth asphyxia are actually some of the alternate diagnosis for this condition. There are two stages for the HIE injury; one of which is the immediately after oxygen deprivation and two, it can take place as normal oxygenated blood circulation resumes to the brain. This is otherwise referred to is reperfusion injury and happens as toxins are being released from damaged cells.

There are countless of parents who are still puzzled what and how HIE. On the What part, you may be surprised that there are so many causes for HIE and these include near SIDS events, cardiac arrests, placental blood clots, aneurysm rupture, cord prolapsed, trauma during delivery, extremely low maternal blood pressure, true umbilical knots, placental abruption, uterine rupture, placental insufficiency, shoulder dystocia, cord compression, fetal maternal hemorrhage and maternal blood clotting disorders.

For the diagnosis of HIE in newborn baby, they do this by utilizing various diagnostic tools and one of it is Sarnat Scale. Basically, this is based on how the baby appears after an injury or birth or presentation at hospital. In addition to that, it can be diagnosed as well through imaging similar to MRI, ultrasound and EEG while other health experts are checking for cord blood gas levels.

As for the treatment of HIE, this one will check at the criteria first. But in most cases, it helps a lot in reducing the reports of disability as well as death by doing cooling or therapeutic hypothermia. Whether you believe it or not, the cooling treatment is widely used. Of course, this is not the only available treatment you can use since there are many of them worldwide.

When it comes to therapeutic hypothermia, it could be done through a cooling cap placed on the head or by cooling the entire body. While the newborn is on their recovery period, they may be given with other medical intervention to support organs.

The rate of babies diagnosed with HIE on the other hand runs on a ratio of 2 to 3 babies in every 1000 full term births.

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