Hypoxic Ischaemic Encephalopathy claims
If your baby has experienced an HIE event during birth you may be able to claim compensation. Our specialist team of lawyers has more than 35 years’ experience in representing families coping with the life-changing effects of HIE.
If HIE injuries were caused by medical negligence and your baby did not have enough oxygen at or around birth you may be entitled to compensation that can be used to pay for care, adapted accommodation, therapies, specialist equipment and education and lifelong needs.
What is HIE?
HIE stands for hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy. An HIE event is when there is a lack of oxygen and / or blood flow to the brain. It can cause a brain injury.
Who is affected by HIE?
Most commonly babies who have suffered a lack of oxygen and / or blood flow to the brain. This can be either before, during, or shortly after birth.
HIE can also be referred to as “birth asphyxia”, “perinatal asphyxia” or “neonatal encephalopathy”. HIE can occur in older children or adults too.
An HIE event also has a big impact on parents, siblings, and the wider family. A brain injured baby may have additional needs and require specialist support, education and treatment for the rest of their lives.
How common is HIE?
Research data published in 2018 showed that HIE occurs in up to approximately 3-4 live births in the UK.
My baby has been diagnosed with HIE. What does that mean?
HIE is a brain injury but it can also affect other organs in the body. Tests will be done to diagnose HIE often at a very early stage. HIE uses a grading system of mild, moderate, or severe.
Outcomes can vary depending on the extent of the injury. Some babies with mild injuries may be unaffected. Some babies may sadly not survive. Others may have long term effects and develop disabilities such as cerebral palsy.
What causes an HIE event?
There are many different causes of HIE. Some examples include:
- A long labour
- Shoulder dystocia - a delay with birth because one of the baby’s shoulders becomes stuck
- Cord prolapse - If the umbilical cord slips down in front of the baby after waters have broken
- Breech presentation - when your baby is lying bottom-down in your womb
- Problems with the placenta e.g. if it is covering the neck of the womb (placenta praevia) or if it comes away from the wall of the womb too early (placenta abruption)
- Uterine rupture – when the scar of a previous caesarean section opens during labour
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Why would I need to contact a solicitor after an HIE event?
After an HIE event, you may need legal advice. Some examples include:
- To investigate a medical negligence claim.
- For representation at an inquest.
- To apply to the Court of Protection to appoint a Financial Deputy, or appoint a professional trustee.
- For advice on your rights at work.
We know how hard it can be for HIE families, like you, to find the time and energy to find good legal support who can understand your unique circumstances and “get it”. We want to ensure that you and other HIE families can easily access the legal support you need, from the right specialist lawyers.
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There is going to be an inquest into my baby’s death. What does this mean?
We are so sorry for your loss.
In certain circumstances, a death cannot be registered until a Coroner has completed an investigation and reached a conclusion as to how the person died. The purpose of a coroner’s investigation is to allow them to answer the following questions:
- Who died?
- When did they die?
- Where did they die?
- How did they die?
It is likely that any hospital and health care professionals involved in the inquest will have legal representation. You can have legal representation at an inquest.
Please make an enquiry to find out more by calling us on 020 7650 1200 or by completing our short enquiry form.
Who else can I speak to for support?
See how we helped others
More than £18 million secured on behalf of child with cerebral palsy
A nine-year-old girl suffered permanent and severely debilitating brain damage as a result of negligent management of her mother’s labour.
Parents settle claim against Portland Hospital following baby’s death
We settled a claim on behalf of London parents Andreas and Diane K after their son Raphael died following negligence during his birth at the Portland Hospital in September 2019.
More than £21 million secured for child who suffered cerebral palsy birth injury
We secured over £21 million for a child who sustained a serious brain injury at birth at due to negligent treatment by medical professionals.