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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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Therapeutic Hypothermia – Follow-Up Care after Treatment

Infants diagnosed with HIE may suffer symptoms that range from mild to severe. While undergoing therapeutic hypothermia treatment, they are closely monitored in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, NICU.

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Monitoring must continue during and after therapeutic hypothermia treatment. Continuous monitoring of temperature, breathing, oxygenation, blood pressure, heart function, and brain wave activity are provided throughout the infant’s treatment in NICU.

After Treatment is Complete

After cooling treatment is complete the infant will slowly be warmed to normal body temperature. During this time the infant will be evaluated and closely monitored to ensure that his body is functioning properly. Medications may be withdrawn, depending on the particular infant’s needs. At this time the baby is slowly becoming more aware, but this can take some time. The baby will likely need to spend more time in the NICU during the recovery period.

Elk & Elk

The baby’s ability to suck and eat will be evaluated. If possible, the infant will begin to be bottle or breast fed. In some cases, the baby will need encouragement to eat and help may be provided by the NICU staff. Bottle feeding may be required so that a precise measurement of the child’s intake can be measured. Once the infant is fully recovered from cooling therapy he may be allowed to go home.

After Care

Infants who were diagnosed with HIE and have received therapeutic hypothermia must have followed up care after they leave the hospital. After discharge, follow-up evaluations are often performed by a neonatal neurologist. Additionally, a developmental psychologist might also evaluate the child’s needs. Regular doctor visits, sometimes weekly, are required to assess the child’s progress and examine his medical condition.

Babies with HIE require more care and ongoing treatment than other children. Parents must learn how to best assist their child depending on his or her specific needs. In addition to special care, parents may need to provide physical rehabilitation or therapy. Parents will need to closely measure their child’s nutritional intake to make sure that they get the nutrition necessary for optimal growth. Regular doctor visits will give parents assistance with the ongoing changing requirements of their special needs infant.

Close attention will be paid to how well the child meets expected developmental milestones. For example, turning over, sitting up, crawling, walking, talking and other milestones will be evaluated to determine whether the child is developmentally delayed. Further brain testing is also done to help doctors evaluate a child’s abilities and disabilities.

Ongoing Care

Some children with mild HIE will experience few if any developmental delays while those with moderate HIE could be much more physically and mentally challenged. Some of the most injured infants could be permanently disabled with cerebral palsy. The care that is required by parents and caregivers will vary widely, depending on the child’s level of disability. Parents of children with HIE will want to learn as much as possible about the diagnosis and how to provide the best possible care throughout the child’s life. Some important considerations for parents include nutrition, health, fitness, home modifications, communication, personal hygiene, socialization, and activities. Additionally, parents must keep good records of their child’s progress. Parents should seek as much support as possible. Your child’s doctor and medical team are there to help you and to answer questions you have as you begin caring for your newborn at home.