Pediatric case study
Delivering Expert Pediatric Opinions with Integrity Since 1993 ™

Case Study: Neonatal Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)

By Santa J. Bartholomew M.D. FAAP, FCCM

See Corresponding Journal Article: Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy

Ms. Jones is a 26-year-old G2P1 mom who is healthy and had an uncomplicated pregnancy presented to the OB office for a routine visit and it was found that there were decreased fetal heart tones. She was admitted to the hospital and taken for an urgent C-section for non-reassuring fetal status: 23 minutes from arrival to the OB floor to C-section.

Pertinent to her history is that she had been evaluated in the ED the day before for bleeding but was deemed stable and discharged to home.

At C-section, she was found to have complete abruption of the placenta. The infant had occasional gasps at birth, initial HR was 20. Apgars 1-2-5 at 1-5-10 minutes. The infant received positive pressure ventilation to improve heart rate, but gasping respirations continued, and the infant was intubated at 7 minutes of life.

Since the 10-minute Apgar was 5 the infant underwent passive cooling. The infant was transferred to the NICU where the first blood gas had a severe acid build up of -20. She was started on a continuous EEG to monitor for seizures and total body cooling began at 90 minutes of life.

Goals of care for this infant:

-Maintain normal blood gases.

-Maintain MAP between 40-60 mmHg.

-Decrease cardiac output.

-Fluid restriction

-Delay feeds

-Optimize sedation and analgesia.

-Watch for signs of infection or clotting issues.

-Treat seizures

With these strict guidelines this infant had her mild abnormalities in liver and kidney function normalized by day 2 of life, normal sleep-wake cycle by day three of life and was rewarmed on day 4 of life. On day 10 of life she had a brain MRI and was discharged to home.


Picture of Santa J. Bartholomew, MD, FAAP, FCCM

Santa J. Bartholomew, MD, FAAP, FCCM

Award-winning Pediatrician with more than 35 years of clinical experience. She has been performing legal review and court services since 1993.
View her CV