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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

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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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Delayed Neurological Complications after Head Trauma - Vascular disorders

Head trauma is defined as damage caused by physical harm from outside the head. This sort of damage can be devastating especially in infants and young children.

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Blunt force to the head can lead to birth brain injury in newborns. Quick and proper medical attention following the trauma can significantly improve the patient’s course of recovery. So, identifying the injury early is crucial. This can pose a problem because some symptoms are delayed, and manifestations of the head injury can show up later.

What are Vascular Disorders?

The human body’s network of arteries, veins, capillaries, etc. is called the vascular system. This system of vessels works hard to pump blood through the entire body. The term vascular disorders refers to a wide variety of ways the circulatory system can go wrong. This range of disorders includes stroke, aneurysms, malformations, artery disease and more. These can be caused by disease or brain injury.

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What Causes Vascular Trauma?

These disorders happen when blunt trauma damages vessels in the head, or when there is severe compression. There are four arteries that supply blood to the brain, two in back and two in front. When the supply is cut off, oxygen flow is reduced. This can sometimes lead to damage. This sort of damage can occur during birth from blunt force or brain compressing in the birth canal, resulting in birth brain injury.

Injury Following Trauma

Head injuries can disrupt arterial walls and lead to aneurysms. Doctors don’t know how often brain injury leads to vascular disease because sometimes symptoms don’t show up until much later, if at all. Imaging such as computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be performed when damage is suspected. Imaging scans show physicians where lesions in the blood vessels might have occurred. This informs the diagnosis and helps the doctor determine the correct treatment.

Treatment of blood vessel damage after head trauma may include surgery. Nearby scars and injuries can hinder surgical approaches. Sometimes doctors go for less invasive endovascular repair instead.

Types of Vascular Disorders

Brain injuries can damage the blood vessels which, in turn, can lead to these disorders. Detection of what caused the trauma is a key part of diagnosis and determining treatments of the problems in the circulatory system. This type of blood vessel disorders can include:

  • Varicose Veins which is when vessels become enlarged and twisted
  • Ischemia which is defined as an inadequate supply of oxygen to a certain organ in the body
  • Circulatory shock, a sudden onset of low blood pressure
  • Vascular Dementia, A common form of dementia caused by an impaired supply of oxygen to the brain, usually from strokes