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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 - BI a Lifetime of Recovery

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Brain Injury – A Lifetime of Recovery

A study published in the Brain Injury Journal followed up on children and adolescents who suffered moderate to severe brain injuries. The researchers found that patients had little change in their cognitive function during the ten years since their injury first occurred. The study shows that there are long-term effects of brain injuries that could persist over the patient’s lifetime. Parents and caregivers need to know the prognosis in order to develop a life care plan that guides medical, educational and other needs of the child for his entire life.

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Long-Term Problems

Infants who were oxygen deprived when they were born could have damage that ranges from mild to severe. The kind of problems the child has depends on a variety of factors, particularly the length of time the baby went without oxygen and the area of the brain that was damaged. Impairments may be physical, emotional or cognitive.

  • Physical Impairments - Physical problems could include difficulties with speech, vision, hearing, muscle coordination, balance, fatigue, muscle spasms, seizures or paralysis and sleep problems.
  • Emotional Impairments - Emotional difficulties could involve anxiety, depression, stress, restlessness, mood swings, lack of motivation and problems controlling emotions.
  • Cognitive Impairments - Cognitive problems include such things as memory impairment, reading or writing difficulties, poor judgment, slow thinking, short attention span, impaired perception and problems with communication.

Babies and children could experience any of these problems at any time after the injury. Although they may have a deficit in some of these areas, the full extent of the problem may not be immediately known. Only when children begin to grow and start to miss important developmental milestones can a better diagnosis and prognosis be made.


The treatment for impairments is dependent on the severity of the injury. The doctor will perform initial diagnostics to determine the extent of the damage that was done. Some problems can be treated with medications or surgery. In some instances, as children begin to grow they will need to go through rehabilitation and therapy to learn how to cope with their disabilities.

Ongoing Care

Babies with mild to moderate injuries may be able to overcome some of their disabilities. Brain injuries are not generally going to improve. Parents could hope that the child will maintain a certain level of function. Those with severe injuries are most likely to require extensive ongoing care. Those who are disabled may require ongoing assistance with all bodily functions on a round-the-clock basis.

Children with mild injuries most often have the best potential outcome. These infants have minimal damage and may suffer few if any problems as a result. Moderately injured babies might have the most uncertain prognosis. In some instances, the extent of their impairment is not yet known. Parents of any child who suffered an injury at birth will need to provide their child with extensive medical care, therapy, rehabilitation and educational support throughout his lifetime. Infants will need to be tested and evaluated regularly to help determine the extent of injuries. A detailed treatment plan should be updated after an assessment in order to revise it to, best optimize the child’s outcome.