Intracranial Hemorrhage (IVH) and Cerebral Palsy
Sometimes infants will suffer a type of brain hemorrhaging before or shortly after their birth. This can negatively impact several parts of the brain responsible for the motor functioning within the brain. The medical community has come to call this intracranial hemorrhage or IVH for short. This type of brain injury can occur in different grades, indicating the severity of the injury. IVH can lead to a loss of oxygen, and you may experience issues with getting blood to the heart. The prognosis worsens if your child suffers bleeding at the brain stem.
What are the Symptoms?
One of the most telltale signs that your child is suffering from intracranial hemorrhage comes from the fact that he will appear lethargic. He or she might act exceptionally tired and unresponsive. This is a big sign that your child has suffered a possible brain injury. Additional symptoms include:
- Weak muscle tone
- Weak reflexes
- Poor feeding habits
- blue skin
- Retinal bleeding
If your child displays any of these symptoms, the doctor will likely perform tests to determine an accurate diagnosis. Some of the tests include MRI scans and CT scans to help determine if there is abnormal blood found within the brain. Your doctor might even order repeated ultrasounds for evaluation.
What Can Cause This Condition?
There are several different risk factors that will increase your child’s chances of experiencing this condition. In particular, infants born prematurely have an increased risk due to having a lower birth weight. Some other risk factors that can lead to a child having this condition include:
- Improper use of birth assisting tools
- Blood clots within the placenta
- Infant stroke
- Underdeveloped blood vessels within the brain
- Prolonged labor trauma
- Traumatic brain injury
What does the overall prognosis for this birth disorder look like? Like with cerebral palsy, it has the potential to be extraordinarily serious. One of the long-term problems that can arise includes intellectual disability. Like with CP, the prognosis of this largely depends on the severity of it. Someone who has a more severe case of IVH will be in greater danger than someone with a milder case. Some children might go on with their lives and experience minimal effects, but others may suffer permanent disability as a result.