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Did Your Newborn Suffer Cerebral
Palsy or Another Brain Injury Before
or During Labor and Delivery?

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Our Birth Brain Injury Resource Guide

the guide

Get a FREE guide of resources available throughout Ohio to children and families of children who were born with brain injuries.

Our guide can help you build a foundation of knowledge and tools that will help you help your child
now and in the future.

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Brain Injury News and Research - About BI

Brain injury in babies can occur during birth, or it can occur later on as the result of trauma or oxygen deprivation. Traumatic birth, a premature birth and the use of tools to assist the delivery have all been linked to a higher risk of brain injury in newborns.

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Because of the potential severity of birth brain injury, a lot of research has been done, and clinical trials are still ongoing. The scientific community is committed to reducing risks and to also giving young patients much more effective treatments for birth brain injuries.

Delivery Mismanagement and Neglect: Is it a Cause of Concern?

It’s true that some medical neglect during the delivery could potentially increase the risk for birth brain injury. New findings, however, suggest that mismanaged deliveries are rarely the cause of birth brain injury in babies.

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One such study was completed at the beginning of 2016, and it was carried out by Loyola University Health System researchers. The researchers found out that most babies who experience severe brain damage at birth are not the victims of mismanaged deliveries.

The researchers examined the cases of 32 babies who developed either mental issues or severe cerebral palsy after birth. Despite proper resuscitation, all of the cases had brain damage occurring after the birth.

Lead researchers Jonathan Muraskas said that the study examined the effect of the first two hours rather than the delivery itself on the occurrence of brain damage. according to Muraskas, one to three babies out of 1,000 will experience encephalopathy (brain damage characterized by seizures, poor reflexes and even breathing difficulties). In only eight to 14.5 percent of the encephalopathy cases, inadequate blood supply to the brain is the main cause. Yet, encephalopathy is one of the main causes of neglect and mismanagement litigations against delivery teams.

Premature Babies: Why is the Risk Higher for Them

It has been established already that premature babies have a higher risk of suffering from birth brain injury. So far, however, researchers have had a hard time explaining why.

University of Edinburg attempted to answer the question in 2014. According to the research team, genes play a very important role when it comes to determining the brain injury risk for premature babies.

Variations in the genes responsible for the metabolism of fat and for schizophrenia could be contributing factors. Nearly half of all babies that have a birth weight of less than 1,500 grams go on to experience learning difficulties. Researchers worked with 80 premature babies and tested them at the time of hospital discharge.

MRI scans were done, and the same applied to genetic testing. The team found a solid link between variations in FADS2 and ARVCF genes and a higher risk of birth brain injuries in the premature babies.

So, What are the Main Causes of Birth Brain Injury?

Understanding the causes of birth brain injuries could be one of the most important contributing factors to the prevention of such traumatic events.

A thorough analysis on the topic was presented in the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. The report titled Neonatal Encephalopathy and Neurological Outcome suggests that some of the most common contributing factors include severe abruptio placentae, prolonged high blood pressure in the mother, a ruptured uterus, a massive fetomaternal hemorrhage or the appearance of an amniotic fluid embolus. Thus, there may be a more serious link between peripartum or intrapartum events and such injuries than previously believed.