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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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Neuropsychological Assessment and Rehabilitation of BI - Quantitative Assessment Domains

The impacts of infant brain injuries can be hard to assess at the neuropsychological level, delaying potential treatments and rehabilitation.

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Quantitative assessments must be made through medical testing, as it can be hard to quantify the magnitude of psychological or cognitive effects in a baby. A few domains exist where physicians can evaluate an infant’s neurological condition.

Behavioral Assessments

Irritability, loud squealing, and problems with sucking or swallowing can indicate a problem, as might trouble focusing the eyes. If the baby’s nursing habits don’t seem right, or their sleep patterns are irregular, further evaluation may be necessary to determine the root cause. A crying infant may not be able to be consoled at all.

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Medical Neurological Assessments

  • X-rays: Diagnosis of skull fractures is most plausible by this method, although such testing is effective at predicting where a hematoma might be. The most common types of fractures to the skull are linear. Other types include depressed, diastatic, and skull base fractures.
  • CT Scans: Computed tomography is more effective at finding collections of blood that can have a range of neuropsychological effects depending on their size and location. They can indicate epidural hematomas, or blood between the skull and dura mater surrounding the brain; subdural hematomas that can indicate more severe neurological damage; and intracerebral hematomas that often occur in the temporal and frontal lobes of the brain.

Functional Assessments

Despite an infant’s immature development stage, their condition can be assessed by looking for physical symptoms. Seizures or convulsions, vomiting, dilation of pupils, difficulty awakening them from sleep, and clear fluid draining from the nose or ears are signs that warrant additional assessments as soon as possible.

Other domains include impairment of bodily function. Weaknesses or paralysis in limbs may be symptomatic of a brain injury, but many quantitative assessments of cognition, speech, motor, hearing, and social development aren’t possible until the individual reaches developmental milestones. Medical assessments are therefore limited to examining the normal physical and behavioral traits of a baby and the results of diagnostic tests to determine what immediate interventions and rehabilitative measures to pursue when an infant brain injury is discovered.