How common is brain damage at birth?

Occasionally, even if the circumstances during pregnancy seem normal, catastrophic injuries can still occur. Though uncommon, brain injuries can happen shortly, before, during or after birth, so it’s important to raise awareness for mothers and staff in neonatal wards

What is brain damage?

Brain damage occurs when brain cells are harmed or destroyed.

The most common type of brain damage in new-born babies is called hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, known as HIE.

It occurs when the oxygen supply to the baby’s brain is reduced for an extended period, when brain cells start to die.

Generally, the longer the shortage of oxygen, the more severe the injury.

What are the signs of brain damage in new-born babies?

Brain damage symptoms are usually obvious immediately after birth but will vary depending on how severe the injury might be.

In mild cases, symptoms frequently resolve within a few weeks.

In mild to moderate cases, midwives and nurses might notice:

  • Muscle stiffness and abnormal tendon reflexes in the first few days
  • Feeding problems and extreme irritability
  • Excessive sleeping or crying
  • Lack of muscle tone
  • Inability to grasp and poor sucking reflex
  • Seizures, typically within the first few days

If a new born is severely affected by a brain injury, extreme seizures are common.

Babies also might be unresponsive to external stimulus, suffer from irregular breathing, and show abnormal heart rate and blood pressure.

These effects might lead to cardiorespiratory failure, which can be fatal.

Is there any treatment for brain injury in babies?

As soon as any signs of HIE have been confirmed in a new born, medical staff refer to the method of body and head cooling – known as therapeutic hypothermia.

This aims to bring the baby’s core temperature below normal levels soon after birth, slowing down the cellular damage process occurring within the brain.

In turn, the long-term impact is minimised.

However, existing damage to the brain is permanent and unfortunately cannot be repaired by any medical method.

As they grow older, children might take medication or undergo therapy to help manage the effects of HIE.

Affected families might choose to work closely alongside brain injury solicitors for lifelong financial support and justice, especially if the injury was the result of negligent actions by staff.

How does brain damage occur at birth?

Brain damage from a birth injury can happen before, during, or shortly after birth.

HIE is caused by loss of blood flow and therefore oxygen into the baby’s developing brain.

This is known as hypoxia for partial reduction of oxygen supply.

Without oxygen, cells inside the brain rapidly start to break down and die.

The most common causes of oxygen deprivation include:

  • Umbilical cord issues including twists, compressions, or pinches
  • Birth canal delays
  • Traumatic delivery
  • Separation of the placenta

How common are brain injuries at birth?

While these types of injury are relatively rare, it’s crucial to know the risks.

Being able to spot the signs means that early intervention could reduce further damage to the brain, improving the long-term outlook for the baby.

Read Also

Emergency Live Even More…Live: Download The New Free App Of Your Newspaper For IOS And Android

What Is Amnioinfusion?

The Stages Of Childbirth, From Labour To Birth

Emergency-Urgency Interventions: Management Of Labor Complications

APGAR Test And Score: Assessing The Health Status Of An Newborn

Shaken Baby Syndrome: The Very Serious Damage Of Violence On The Newborn Child

Why Are Hiccups So Common In Newborns And How Can They Be Overcome?

Seizures In The Neonate: An Emergency That Needs To Be Addressed

Emergency-Urgency Interventions: Management Of Labor Complications

What Is Transient Tachypnoea Of The Newborn, Or Neonatal Wet Lung Syndrome?

Tachypnoea: Meaning And Pathologies Associated With Increased Frequency Of Respiratory Acts

Pregnancy: What It Is And When Structural Ultrasound Is Necessary

Pathologies In Pregnancy: An Overview

Preeclampsia And Eclampsia In Pregnancy: What Are They?

Transvaginal Ultrasound: How It Works And Why It Is Important

Miscarriage: Causes, Diagnosis And Treatment

Placenta Previa: Definition, Causes, Risk Factors, Symptoms, Classification

Miscarriage: Medical And Psychological Aspects In The Approach To The Patient

Bluish Color Of Baby’s Skin: Could Be Tricuspid Atresia

Heart Disease: The Atrial Septal Defect

Baby Blues, What It Is And Why It Is Different From Postpartum Depression

What Is Postpartum Depression?

How To Recognise Depression? The Three A Rule: Asthenia, Apathy And Anhedonia

Postpartum Depression: How To Recognise The First Symptoms And Overcome It

Postpartum Psychosis: Knowing It To Know How To Deal With It

Childbirth And Emergency: Postpartum Complications

Emergency-Urgency Interventions: Management Of Labor Complications

Seizures In The Neonate: An Emergency That Needs To Be Addressed

Diagnostic And Operative Hysteroscopy: When Is It Necessary?

Techniques And Instruments For Performing Hysteroscopy

The Use Of Outpatient Hysteroscopy For Early Diagnosis

Utero-Vaginal Prolapse: What Is The Indicated Treatment?

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction: What It Is And How To Treat It

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction: Risk Factors

Salpingitis: Causes And Complications Of This Fallopian Tube Inflammation

Hysterosalpingography: Preparation And Usefulness Of The Examination

Gynaecological Cancers: What To Know To Prevent Them

Total And Operative Hysterectomy: What They Are, What They Involve

Vulvodynia: What Are The Symptoms And How To Treat It

What Is Vulvodynia? Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment: Talk To The Expert


The Hippocratic Post

You might also like