Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy

(Cerebral Hypoxia; HIE)

Definition

Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is a condition in which the brain does not receive enough oxygen.HIE can be fatal. Brain cells can begin dying after 4 minutes without oxygen.
Blood Supply to the Brain
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Causes

There are a variety of causes of HIE. Any injury and many health conditions can cause a lack of oxygen to the brain. Some common causes are:

Risk Factors

Any injury, complication, or condition that causes the brain to have a reduction in blood flow and oxygen is a risk factor for HIE.

Symptoms

Symptoms include:
  • Mild case:
    • Difficulty paying attention
    • Poor judgment
    • Poor coordination
    • Intense emotions
    • Extreme drowsiness
  • Severe oxygen deprivation:
    • Seizures
    • Loss of consciousness
    • Blue-colored skin or lips
    • Difficulty breathing

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