Infant Brain Damage

How Does It Happen?

There are several causes that can result in infant brain damage. This birth injury often happens as a result of oxygen deprivation or even jaundice that went untreated. The medical term for oxygen deprivation is hypoxia or anoxia. Hypoxia means a decreased amount of oxygen while anoxia means a total absence of oxygen. Infants can only sustain between three to five minutes without oxygen before suffering from brain damage. It can range in severity from mild to severe. This can lead to physical disabilities as well as psychological problems.

Jaundice

When a child’s skin turns yellow, it is called jaundice. Jaundice means that excessive bilirubin in the bloodstream has caused the skin to yellow. Often, jaundice can resolve on its own in infants, however, it is important to closely monitor to ensure that bilirubin levels do not remain elevated or increase. When the bilirubin in the body reaches excessive levels, it can lead to brain damage. Monitoring the bilirubin level over the first 24 hours is critical to ensuring that your baby adequately recovers.

If the bilirubin levels reach to an excessive volume, it can lead to what is known as kernicterus.  Kernicterus is brain damage that exhibits serious symptoms such as:

  • Lethargy
  • Abnormal arching of the back
  • High fever
  • High-pitched screaming
  • unusual eye movement
  • muscle spasms

Provided you treat it in time, you don’t usually have to worry about jaundice. However, it is important to monitor, so that serious harm can from excessive levels of bilirubin can be avoided.

Beware of Maternal Infections

A mother with an infection requires immediate treatment because some infections may lead to a birth disorder. When you leave certain infections untreated, damage to the brain can occur. Some of the infections  that can be dangerous to your child include:

  • Rubella
  • Syphilis
  • Herpes
  • Varicella
  • Infectious diarrhea
  • Venereal Warts
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea

Along with damage to the brain, maternal infection can also cause premature death.

Especially if your child develops cerebral palsy as a result of damage to the brain, you may need to seek financial help. Luckily, there are different government grants and assistance available. Supplemental Security Income is one form of assistance. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families is another program that offers assistance. If your child has CP, it is recommended that you follow a special diet.  In addition, medical bills can pile up quickly.

Brain Damage Frequently Asked Questions

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Causes

Within the United States, 1.7 million people develop some form of brain damage each year. It becomes even more disconcerting, however, when it happens in an infant who has only begun to live. Brain damage can be serious, and it can endanger the life of your child or give him a lifetime disability like cerebral palsy. The medical bill associated with an infant that suffers this trauma can skyrocket through the roof. Let’s have a look at some of the causes.

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Risk Factors

Understanding some of the infant brain damage risk factors can go a long way to helping you overcome the risks associated through awareness. In some cases, you can’t mitigate all the risks, but you can take care of some of them to lower the risk. This medical condition can have an impact on the person’s muscle tone and the control of their body. That’s because when the brain suffers damage, it scrambles the signals in the process, causing confusion. This condition is known as cerebral palsy.

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Lack of Oxygen at Birth & Long Term Effects for Babies

A lack of oxygen to a child can turn into a serious problem that can lead to brain damage or even death. You have many long-term consequences, such as the child could develop a condition known as cerebral palsy. When this happens, it scrambles the brain’s signals and causes miscommunications in the muscles. That’s one of the reasons that people view this as a muscle disorder, but in fact, this birth injury is a neurological condition.

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Prognosis

What does an infant brain damage prognosis look like? With this type of health condition, it largely depends on the severity of the brain damage. While some people will have a more serious case that leads to cerebral palsy, you will have other individuals who have a mild case of brain damage. Brain injuries have a lot of complexity that make it difficult to give a single answer. Doctors will have to assess this and give an evaluation to give you an accurate baby brain damage prognosis.

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Symptoms

You have a variety of infant brain damage symptoms, and how severe the effects are will depend on the severity of the symptoms. Traumatic brain injuries have become one of the leading causes of lifelong disability, but it can also lead to more serious effects. Some of the ways that a child can suffer brain damage ranges anywhere from mild to serious. In the more severe cases, they can die from it. In some cases, the symptoms may not become as apparent until much later.

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Diagnosis

When it comes to an infant brain damage diagnosis, doctors will normally find out if your child has suffered brain damage through ordering an MRI or a CT scan. In this way, they can determine the extent of the damage. Approximately three out of every 1,000 babies will be born with brain damage. In many cases, it happens because of a delivery that went wrong, and the child suffered the consequences of it. Brain damage can especially affect a child for life if he develops cerebral palsy as a result of it. All people who have this condition will have issues with movement and posture.

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Cure

Unfortunately, there is no cure for cerebral palsy. When you suffer brain damage, it will last for life because researchers haven’t learned how to reverse the damage. The human brain still remains one of the last great frontiers that we have been working on. CP has unfortunately become one of the common occurrences in children because as they experience brain damage, they also develop CP as a result. While most people believe that this condition comes from the muscles, in fact, it happens as a result of brain damage. The brain doesn’t communicate with the muscles in the way that it should.

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Type Prevalence and Effects of Brain Injury at Birth Facts and Statistics

Having a child has never been an easy process, and in fact, in the past, mothers used to die from childbirth even more often. Today, the problem often comes from a risk to the child as many infant brain damage statistics suggest a problem. If the doctor makes mistakes or the wrong circumstances happen, it can lead to a birth injury. Brain injuries have become one of the most devastating that infant can incur because of how they could develop cerebral palsy, which will have lifelong consequences. You do your best, but you can’t always prevent this from happening.

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Expert

Elena Amato Borrelli, Expert

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