Heard of HIE?

1st April 2021 Clinical Negligence

HIE Awareness Day, an initiative set up by the charity Peeps HIE in 2019 to help raise awareness of the condition, is taking place on 4th April 2021 and people are being asked to share their experiences of HIE.

HIE, or Hypoxic Ischaemic Encephalopathy, is a lack of oxygen to the brain that can cause injury. It has a number of different causes and whilst most occur in babies before or during labour, HIE events can also occur post-delivery. Many babies who have experienced HIE will go on to be diagnosed with cerebral palsy and will have lifelong physical and cognitive disabilities. Others may not survive at all.

Further information on HIE can be found in the blog I prepared for the first ever HIE Awareness Day.

Before starting my work in clinical negligence more than 10 years ago, and going on to specialise in serious injury cases, I had never heard of HIE. I now work with clients and families to support them on their journey with HIE on a daily basis. I also work closely with Peeps HIE to help raise awareness of this condition and its potential implications.

Peeps HIE is a fantastic charity, founded by Sarah and Steve when their daughter, Heidi, was affected by a HIE event in 2015. It is  the only UK charity dedicated to supporting those affected by HIE by providing information via parent packs for those in neonatal intensive care unit, signposting to other charities/support groups, organising activities, peer support, funding equipment and counselling.

Unfortunately there are situations in which HIE is a diagnosis that could have been avoided. The JMW clinical negligence team provides support where HIE is a result of unacceptable care in the antenatal period, during labour and delivery or shortly after birth. Commonly, in the many cases we have dealt with, HIE was caused by delays in delivering the baby when there were signs of distress.

If you are dealing with a diagnosis of HIE and would like to discuss your options please contact a member of our team to discuss things further.



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Jodie Miller is a Senior Associate Solicitor located in Manchesterin our Clinical Negligence department

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