Causes of Infant Brain Damage

Oxygen Deprivation

As one of the leading causes of infant brain damage, oxygen deprivation can have a dramatic impact on your baby. Typically, it will happen during the birth process. For example, the child gets stuck in the mother’s pelvis for an extended period of time, and this leads to brain damage. There are also cases where the child’s umbilical cord is delivered first during delivery, resulting in the baby being unable to breathe. When this happens, the doctor might opt for a C-section as a way of saving the baby’s life. Newborn asphyxia happens at an alarming rate of 10 out of every 1,000 children. Because of that, it is essential that women always receive routine prenatal care, as this can lower the risk of a birth disorder.

In regards to brain damage that occurs due to lack of oxygen, it can be broken down into two categories-it either happens because of hypoxia, or it can happen because of anoxia. While hypoxia means that there is a decreased amount of oxygen received by the infant’s brain, anoxia means that there’s a total absence of oxygen being delivered to the child’s brain. That becomes a big problem because a child can only sustain three to five minutes without breathing before brain damage begins occurring. Some of the most common reasons that a child will suffer brain damage include:

  • Blocked airways
  • Umbilical cord problems
  • Birth canal problems
  • Placental abruption

Infant Jaundice

As the bilirubin builds up within the infant’s blood, it can lead to another health condition known as kernicterus. This form of brain damage can cause cerebral palsy. Fortunately, this condition can often be prevented by making sure that the infant is closely monitored to ensure that he or she receives adequate treatment for the jaundice prior to it getting out of control.

There are a variety of causes of infant brain damage. It can occur as a result of the doctor using excessive force with birth assisting tools during delivery.  Birth assisting tools can lead to a birth injury. Some forms of brain damage are not preventable,  but some are preventable. Infant brain damage causes can happen under a variety of circumstances, and it is important to watch out for some of the telltale signs to ensure that your child hasn’t suffered from it. The sooner that you catch it, the better, because it lowers the risk of long-term damage from occurring.

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Elena Amato Borrelli, Expert

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