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Hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy (HIE) brain injuries caused by lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain around the time of birth are the most common cause of claims from negligent maternity and neonatal care. These injuries are devastating, often causing the child a lifetime of physical and/or intellectual disability and leaving them forever dependent on others for all their daily needs.

At Boyes Turner, we understand the impact that HIE birth injuries have on the child and their family, now and into the future. Our cerebral palsy specialists have helped hundreds of families affected by HIE birth injuries to claim their child’s entitlement to compensation to help pay for care, adapted accommodation, therapies, specialist aids and equipment, special education and lifelong needs.

What is HIE?

HIE (each letter is pronounced separately as H.I.E) is a shortened form of the medical term hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy.

Hypoxia = Lack of oxygen.

Ischaemia = Lack of blood supply to an area of the body.

Encephalopathy = Disease or damage which affects the brain.

Newborn babies who are diagnosed with HIE have suffered an injury to their brain from a disruption to their blood oxygen supply during pregnancy, labour, and delivery or immediately after birth. This can lead to cerebral palsy and neurodevelopmental injuries.

Other medical terms such as asphyxia or anoxia are sometimes used to describe brain injuries at birth from lack of oxygen.

Starting your hypoxic brain injury (HIE) claim

Many of the parents who come to us after their child’s birth injury know little about HIE, but are beginning to realise that mistakes or problems at birth may have injured their child’s brain.

They may have been contacted by the hospital trust where their baby was born or invited to meet with representatives from NHS Resolution, HSIB or MNSI. This is because all stillbirths, neonatal (newborn) deaths or brain injuries to babies from HIE must be reported by the NHS.

If you have contacted about the birth of your baby, you should contact us for free, independent, specialist legal advice straight away.

If negligent care during pregnancy, labour, delivery or immediately after birth has caused your child to suffer an HIE brain injury, your child may be able to obtain to an immediate interim payment and will be entitled to substantial compensation. If you are considering making a hypoxic brain injury claim, we can offer both Legal Aid and no win no fee (Conditional Fee Agreement) funding options.  We will talk the options through with you so that you have all the information you need to make a decision on which funding mechanism to use.

Why choose Boyes Turner?

Our clients receive the highest standards of advice and representation and are always treated with compassion, outstanding care and understanding of the physical, emotional, psychological and financial impact that life-changing injury can have upon their lives.

  • We're nationally acclaimed medical negligence lawyers. We’re recognised as leading clinical negligence experts by Chambers Directory and Legal 500.
  • We've won awards & accreditations for our work and are known for securing maximum compensation for clients.
  • We have an extensive & highly experienced medical negligence team with proven skills to succeed in high value, complex claims involving catastrophic injury and severe disability.
  • We provide the highest standards of advice, only work with top medical experts or treatment providers in the UK and many charities to help support rehabilitation.

Hypoxic brain injury claims for babies (HIE) frequently asked questions

How do I know if my baby has HIE?

HIE is a serious condition with long-term consequences for the child. There are different grades of HIE which indicate the severity of the injury to the brain.

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What tests are completed to diagnose HIE?

The following tests are often used to provide a formal diagnosis.

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What is cooling?

When a baby has moderate or severe hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy or HIE from oxygen deprivation but is expected to survive, they must be treated with therapeutic hypothermia, more commonly known as ‘cooling’.

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What kind of negligence leads to hypoxic brain injury (HIE) claims?

Examples of negligent care which can cause HIE and lead to a hypoxic brain injury claim include the following:

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What kind of injuries can lead to an HIE brain injury compensation claim?

HIE brain injuries are complex and can lead to a range of neurological impairments and disabilities.

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What compensation can I receive from a hypoxic brain injury (HIE) claim?

Compensation claims for HIE birth injury are among the highest settlements that we achieve for our clients.

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Previous Cases

£21 million settlement ( £6.59m plus lifelong, annual payments of £250,000pa) for a teenager whose hypoxic brain injury and cerebral palsy was caused by negligent maternity care at the time of his birth.  After forcing an admission of liability from the defendant hospital, we secured an interim payment of £250,000 to meet our client’s needs whilst the claim was ongoing.

Liability settlement in an ongoing claim for a boy who suffered an HIE brain injury from lack of oxygen immediately before and immediately after his birth. The injury left him with dyskinetic cerebral palsy, cerebral visual impairment, epilepsy and learning disability. A period of cooling probably significantly reduced the extent of his neurological damage. The 90% liability settlement was obtained despite apparently normal midwife records of the unborn baby’s heart rate during labour and the defendant hospital’s denial of liability.

£19 million settlement (£3.9m lump sum plus lifelong payments of up to £158,500pa) for a girl who suffered an HIE brain injury and dyskinetic cerebral palsy as a result of negligent delays in her delivery. We secured an admission of liability, an apology and an interim payment of £200,000 to meet our client’s immediate needs whilst the claim was ongoing.

Multi-million dollar settlement in an international claim for a child who suffered an HIE brain injury as a result of oxygen deprivation during delays in his delivery at a London hospital. Our client’s compensation reflects the costs of meeting his additional needs from his disability in his current country of residence. 

£5million plus lifelong payments of up to £232,750pa plus guaranteed full funding of a Treloar’s SEN placement for a boy who suffered traumatic and HIE brain injuries from an attempted forceps delivery which delayed his birth. We secured an early admission of liability and judgment against the defendant and interim payments totalling £900,000 to meet our client’s immediate needs arising from his cerebral palsy and severe disability whilst the case was ongoing.

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  • Expert rehabilitation help
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Meet your specialist team

Our specialist Hypoxic brain injury claims for babies (HIE) team are considered leaders in the field and have a significant amount of expertise.
Susan Brown photo

Susan Brown


Julie Marsh headshot

Julie Marsh


Richard Money-Kyrle headshot

Richard Money-Kyrle


Sita Soni headshot

Sita Soni

Senior Associate - solicitor

Vanessa Wand photo

Vanessa Wand

Senior associate - solicitor

Rachel Makore headshot

Rachel Makore

Associate - solicitor

Tara Pileggi-Byrne photo

Tara Pileggi-Byrne

Associate - Solicitor

Alpa Rana headshot

Alpa Rana

Associate - solicitor

Fran Rothwell

Fran Rothwell

Associate solicitor

Ben Ireland headshot

Ben Ireland


Alice Carley headshot

Alice Carley


Audrey Elmore headshot

Audrey Elmore

Medical records coordinator

Nicky Melville headshot

Nicky Melville

Professional support assistant

Susan Brown photo
Julie Marsh headshot
Richard Money-Kyrle headshot
Sita Soni headshot
Vanessa Wand photo
Rachel Makore headshot
Tara Pileggi-Byrne photo
Alpa Rana headshot
Fran Rothwell
Ben Ireland headshot
Alice Carley headshot
Audrey Elmore headshot
Nicky Melville headshot

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Awards & accreditations

Our medical negligence and personal injury teams have been nationally recognised for over 20 years because of their expertise, empathy and commitment to securing maximum compensation for our clients.

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What our clients say

"Amazing support"

Fran has been an amazing support through a very difficult time for me and my family. Always available to speak and kept me in the loop with anything happening, she has been so kind, and I thank her so much for helping and getting my mum the justice she deserved.

Ms Alison

"Honest, approachable and truly empathetic"

What has to be some of the most testing horrible times was dealt with in a dignified, honest, approachable and truly empathetic manner. I could not begin to do Susan justice for her handling of our case.

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I approached Boyes Turner after my claim was turned down by one of the Medical Negligence Claim company. My wife was a victim of medical negligence.

Boyes Turner have acted so efficiently on our behalf and was able to win our case. Anytime we contact them, their customer service was very good as they kept us fully informed of every level our case has developed. They are very friendly and approachable and great in their professional advise. I would strongly recommend anyone approach them for their legal and medical negligence services.

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Thoroughly professional, knowledgable and approachable with communication and updates as and when needed, in what can be a drawn out process, I was always comfortable asking questions and always received answers which were clear and understandable. Highly recommend

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"Amazing professional firm"

I came to Boyes Turner desperate after searching the web for a firm to use for my sons case. He was only a few months so my mind was all over the place, but from the very first point of contact I felt a sense of relieve and belonging. I was welcomed and looked after by amazing staff who always communicated everything so well and went the extra mile to explain things and ensure I understood what was happening every step of the way (THANK YOU SUSAN BROWN). Susan was amazing I felt like I not only had a solicitor but someone who understood my emotions as a mother and always handled me with so much compassion and that was all I needed to keep me going for the 6 years of the case. Years went by in a breeze because of how professional Boyes Turner was. I am so greatful I went through it all with them and mananged to get my son a good compensation. We look forward our new life where my sons needs are priority after struggling for so long. Thank you Boyes Turner and thank you Susan Brown. My family and I are ever indebted.

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Rated Excellent 4.8/5