If a baby has experienced a lack of oxygen during birth, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) can result in irreversible brain damage. A common therapy called therapeutic hypothermia or cooling can be done directly after a birth in which asphyxia has occurred to prevent future damage to the brain.
HIE can cause a wide range of outcomes in motor development and more. To determine the severity of damage caused by HIE, recently an exam called the Hammersmith Infant Neurological Examination (HINE) has been shown to be one of the best, yet simple, tests for an early diagnosis of neurological impairment following treatment with cooling (Romeo et al, 2019). Most other neuropsychological tests used are only able to predict whether there will be a normal or abnormal outcome, but HINE has been shown to also provide some insight into the severity of motor outcome and overall disability.
To determine the validity of this examination, researchers looked at cohort of 41 term infants with HIE treated by hypothermia (cooling), and these infants were later tested with HINE at 12 months and 24 months. The scores from HINE were cross referenced with MRI scans taken one to two weeks following birth and it was found that these two mirrored each other (Romeo et al, 2019).
The authors go on to say that HINE is a valuable tool for clinicians to determine if early intervention is needed among patients, or alternatively provides a way to reassure parents when optimal results are present.
If you believe your baby’s birth asphyxia and resulting injuries were caused by the delivering doctor and medical staff, you should speak with an attorney. The Holton Law Firm has been a trusted source of legal help in our community for decades, and we can assist with your birth injury lawsuit, too. Get started by filling out the online contact form on our website.