Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy
Pronounced: hye-POK-sik is-KEM-ik en-sef-a-lo-path-eeEn Español (Spanish Version)
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 four minutes without oxygen.
Blood Supply to the Brain
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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:
- Respiratory failure
- Blocked or ruptured blood vessel
- Carbon monoxide or cyanide poisoning
- Drug overdose
- Lack of oxygen due to smoke inhalation
- Extremely low blood pressure
- Cardiac arrest
- High altitudes
- Compression or injury to the trachea that reduces or stops breathing
- Complications from general anesthesia
- Diseases or drugs that cause paralysis of the respiratory organs or muscles, such as myasthenia gravis and Guillain-Barre syndrome
Last reviewedMay 2014by Rimas Lukas, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.