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Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy
(Cerebral Hypoxia; HIE)
Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is a brain injury. It happens when the brain does not get enough oxygen.
HIE can cause death. Brain cells start to die after 4 minutes without oxygen.
|Blood Supply to the Brain|
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Many health problems can a lack of oxygen to the brain. Some common causes are:
Any injury or health problem that causes the brain to have a drop in blood flow and oxygen is a risk factor for HIE.
You may have:
- Focus problems
- Problems making decisions
- Strong feelings
- Excess drowsiness
- Loss of consciousness
- Blue-colored skin or lips
- Problems breathing
A physical exam will be done. A health history is the biggest factor in making the diagnosis.
Blood tests may be done.
Pictures may need to be taken of your body. This can be done with:
Your heart and brain may be tested. This can be done with:
- Electroencephalogram (EEG)
- Evoked potential tests
Treatment depends on the cause of HIE. It also depends on how severe the damage is to the brain.
You may have:
- Life-sustaining treatment—If brain function stops, but damage is not great, then life saving treatment is given. This may include CPR .
- Cooling—Cooling blankets or other means of cooling may be used to lower the body's temperature.
- Temperature control—Cooling and rewarming the body.
Brain Injury Association of America
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Ontario Brain Injury Association
Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). Neurographics website. Available at: http://www.asnr.org/neurographics/2/1/1/4.shtml. Accessed June 22, 2018.
Itoo BA, Al-Hawsawi ZM, Khan AH. Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. Incidence and risk factors in North Western Saudi Arabia. Saudi Med J. 2003;24(2):147-153.
MacDonald S. Brain injury secondary to carotid intervention. J Endovasc Ther. 2007;14(2):219-231.
- Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Rimas Lukas, MD
- Review Date: 05/2018
- Update Date: 06/22/2018