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

Learn More

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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Physicians do not work with a fixed list of scientific rules when it comes to determining the recovery time for infants that suffer brain damage. The complexity of brain injuries means each injury presents distinct diagnostic evidence that physicians use to make a prognosis.

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Physicians break infant brain injuries into two broad categories: mild and severe. From there, physicians evaluate individual cases to determine recovery time.

When the Damage is Mild

Physicians diagnose most infant brain injuries as mild, with immediate treatment putting the recovery time at a few weeks or a couple of months. Infants with mild head injuries typically experience good and bad days, with the bad days decreasing in number between a longer streak of good days. Bad days include disorientation and throbbing headaches. One day an infant might smile all day, with the next day bringing constant crying and wailing. For mild head traumas, Physicians consider the alternating of good and bad days normal behavior and it should not alarm parents.

Elk & Elk

Nonetheless, infant's brains are a long way from full development. Therefore, even a mild bump on the head can trigger long-lasting learning and emotional issues. Physicians might not recognize the cognitive and emotional disabilities at first, but after a few years of development, the disabilities become obvious to parents and physicians. Through intensive therapy, most infants that receive mild brain trauma can fully recover a few years down the road.

When the Damage is Severe

Severe infant head trauma causes the brain to change rapidly, with many reported cases of the brain increasing pressure on the skull. Additional brain damage follows, which can lead to death. Physicians initially administer medications and perform surgeries to stem the brain damage caused by a strong blow to the head. After bringing the swelling under control and waiting a few weeks, infants who suffer severe head trauma require mental, physical, and emotional therapy to have any chance for the slightest improvement of the symptoms.

Long-term recovery is possible, but only if treatment is prompt and the infant reacts favorably to the numerous treatment methods. Infants that undergo treatments for brain damage are at risk of falling into unconsciousness during the recovery period. The length of unconsciousness depends on an infant’s reaction to treatment. Some infants who suffer from severe head blows never regain motor skills and fail to achieve basic developmental milestones.

What Do Seizures Indicate?

Many parents wonder how long an infant takes to recover if the infant experiences seizures that occur because of severe brain damage. Seizures develop in about 1 out of every 10 brain trauma victims. The seizures can last for days or continue throughout a lifetime. Infants are at risk of developingepilepsy if they experience more than one seizure. The most likely time for seizures to happen is within the first 48 hours after severe brain damage.

Recovery from Behavioral Problems

Both mild and severe infant brain damage can lead to behavioral problems. Mental health issues that include sudden anxiety, aggression, and depression require the intervention of a mental health caretaker. Infants that turn into young children who display inappropriate behavior receive medications to alleviate the symptoms. Eventually, therapy replaces most of the medications to help children regain social skills.

Brain hypothermia, which involves cooling an infant to around 91 degrees Fahrenheit for three days after birth, represents a medical procedure that reduces infant brain damage. The procedure enhances the likelihood of an infant not experiencing any disabilities.