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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 - Hospital Care

The role that hospitals play in the recovery of children who have experienced a brain injury at birth can be a large one.

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The hospital can do any monitoring and provide other services that the infant may need for this type of injury. In addition, there are therapeutic approaches that can potentially reduce the scope of the damage or even reverse it.

Pediatric Brain Injury and Hospital Resources in the US

The Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Kids’ Inpatient Database did a thorough retrospective analysis that focused on data gathered from January 1, 2000, to the end of the year. The study highlighted the frequency of hospitalization of children with brain injuries and the hospital resources utilized for the treatment of such patients.

Elk & Elk

The rate of hospitalization for such injuries was estimated at 70 per 100,000 children for the year. Pediatric brain injury-related hospitalization led to more than one billion dollars in total charges. The researchers concluded that this is a serious contributor to the financial burden on US health-related resources.

Types of Hospital Management

The British Journal of Anesthesia published a thorough report on the hospital management of brain injuries and the most typical therapeutic approaches utilized.

The report starts with the intensive care management of this type of injury. Researchers found out that the provision of adequate intensive care is one of the biggest prerequisites for reducing the scope of brain damage and improving patient outcomes after brain injury.

Most often, intensive care is aimed at reducing cranial pressure – which can be one of the dangers associated with a traumatic birth leading to brain injuries.

Ventilatory support, analgesia, and sedation may also be availble for patients such as infants who have sustained a severe brain injury.

Also, the report examines the hospital-based specific approaches for the management of such injuries and the reduction of the damage that patients could potentially sustain. Induced hyperventilation, hyperosmolar therapy, induced hypothermia, barbiturate coma and the use of anticonvulsant medications are all explored in depth.

Induced hyperventilation is used to reduce the cerebral blood volume, which may eventually bring down the scope of the damage. This approach has been found out to be particularly beneficial in the first 24 hours after brain trauma occurs. Such a therapeutic approach, however, should be applied solely in a neurointensive care unit.

Hyperosmolar therapy is one of the most potent techniques for the management of edema that may follow brain injuries. The effect of this therapeutic approach is a rapid one. The fact that the treatment is relatively simple (involving the use of an osmotic diuretic) is an added benefit.

One of the most thoroughly studied approaches is induced hypothermia. There have been many clinical trials about the effectiveness of the cooling therapy in babies who have sustained a brain trauma at birth. The British Journal of Anesthesia analysis confirms these findings.

Hospitals may also turn to high doses of barbiturates to control intracranial hypertension. Clinical studies about this therapeutic approach, however, have provided controversial information. There are risks linked to this therapy (serious hypotension and a long half-life of the medications). As such, the therapy isn’t considered the safest one.

The final possibility to explore is the use of anticonvulsant medication. Usually, anticonvulsant medications can be used both in the acute phase and for the long-term management of these injuries. Research suggests that the use of anticonvulsants during the acute phase will, unfortunately, be insufficient to bring down the risk of seizures in the long run.