Why does my baby's head look misshapen?

Unusual infant head shapes can be caused by a number of factors, including traumatic pressure on the head in utero or during delivery,  regular sleeping position, or rarely, genetic abnormalities. Depending on what type of head deformation an infant has, doctors may recommend allowing it to resolve itself with time, minor non-invasive interventions, or major…

What is periventricular leukomalacia (PVL)?

Periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) is a type of brain injury caused by the following two factors: Decreased oxygen and blood flow to the periventricular region of the brain Damage to the cells that make up most of the white matter in the brain. Typically, the injury is characterized by an ischemic infarction (inadequate blood circulation) in the…

What are the treatments and therapies for pediatric brain injuries?

The treatments for birth injuries can vary widely, depending on the injury’s severity, underlying cause, and how quickly it is diagnosed. Some treatments, like hypothermia therapy, must be administered within 6 hours of the injury, while others, such as physical and occupational therapy, are long-term supportive/remedial treatments. Protocols for Treating Birth Injuries Can Vary Birth…

How is neonatal brain damage prevented?

Preventing Neonatal Brain Injury Neonatal brain damage can be caused by a number of complications, conditions, and medical errors occurring during pregnancy, around the time of delivery, or in the neonatal period. At each step of pregnancy, childbirth, and the neonatal period, medical professionals must prevent neonatal brain injury through proper treatment, diagnosis, and care. Preventing…

What are the long-term effects of neonatal brain injury?

The long-term effects of neonatal brain injury vary by the type, nature, and extent of the baby’s brain damage. Initial birth injuries and neonatal brain injuries that can lead to long-term effects include fetal oxygen deprivation and hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), brain bleeds (intracranial hemorrhages), fetal strokes, neonatal sepsis (infection in the blood), jaundice and kernicterus (high bilirubin levels), and neonatal…

What causes birth injuries?

Birth injuries can be caused by many things, including hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) and fetal oxygen deprivation, trauma from impact during delivery, premature birth, infections or health conditions in the mother, medical negligence, and more. These injuries can impair the baby’s body systems, with impacts ranging from mild bruising and lacerations to permanent injury or lifelong…

What is a normal Apgar score?

The Apgar score is a number assigned to a baby right after birth to help the medical team quickly assess the baby’s health. The score is used to help indicate how likely it is that the newborn will need medical intervention. Apgar scores of 7+ are typically considered normal (but not always). Apgar scores of…

What is a normal umbilical cord blood gas level?

As soon as a baby is born, the medical team usually draws blood from the baby’s umbilical cord artery.  This blood is analyzed to determine if there was a complication shortly before or during delivery that deprived the baby of oxygen.  Oxygen deprivation (birth asphyxia) can cause brain damage, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), periventricular leukomalacia (PVL –…