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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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Neuropsychological Assessment and Rehabilitation of BI - Intervention Modalities

A number of medical interventions are available, depending on the nature and effects of a brain injury at birth. Finding the treatment that may be most effective is the challenge. Even with the most precise scans and other test procedures, the exact nature of an infant’s brain injury is sometimes elusive.

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In the case of oxygen deprivation, immediate treatment is critical. A difficult labor and complications during birth can limit the amount of oxygen available to immature brain cells. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is one method used to intervene. It increases oxygen levels in the blood so it can be delivered to organs, tissues, and cells, keeping them alive and promoting healing. The protocol is also used in cerebral palsy patients, as some limited studies have noted reduced spasticity and improvements to motor function and control, while others haven’t.

Cooling the Brain to Heal Its

Cooling therapy has become increasingly more common for babies deprived of oxygen. By cooling the brain, this decreases its need for oxygen and relieves the inflammation that can cause further damage. A small cap placed on the baby’s head reduces body temperature to about 93 degrees Fahrenheit. The treatment usually starts within six hours of birth and lasts three days. It is implemented with the idea of preventing cell death after the initial hypoxic event, and when normal blood flow and oxygen is restored to brain cells, which may then release harmful toxins.

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Surgery is often the recommended course of action for brachial plexus injuries, which involves important nerves that branch out of the spinal cord in the neck. Common injuries include stretching, which can connect nerve axons from the muscle. Internal scar tissue can be released, so there is improved potential for injured nerves to regenerate. Other surgeries can treat hemorrhaging, fluid buildup, and skull fractures.


Drugs for treating pain, seizures, inflammation, and muscle spasticity are often used. Anticholinergic medications block acetylcholine, which can alleviate involuntary muscle movements. Stool softeners may be used to address bowel inefficiencies, while Botox may be used to treat injured muscles that have been weakened.