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  • HYPOXIC : a shortage of oxygen in blood

  • ISCHEMIC : a shortage of blood flow to the brain

  • ENCEPHALOPATHY : resultant brain damage

  • Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) is a type of brain damage that occurs when an infant brain doesnt receive enough oxygen and blood. It is a dangerous condition that requires immediate medical intervention. Per the Florida Neonatal Neurologic Network, HIE affects 20 out of every 1000 full term births; the incidence rate in premature babies is 60% of all live births.

    HIE is a brain dysfunction caused by a reduction in the supply of oxygen to the brain and other organs (hypoxia), compounded by low blood flow to vital organs (ischemia). This is sometimes referred to as ischemic hypoxia. Encephalopathy refers to any condition that results from reduced blood and oxygen supply to the brain.Since this is considered a brain injury, the time of the oxygen deprivation generally relates to the perinatal period, just before and just after delivery. HIE caused by asphyxia is the leading cause of infant fatalities in the United States, as well as the primary source of severe impairments.