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Is cerebral palsy (CP) curable?

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a type of motor disorder characterized by abnormal or involuntary movements. It is often caused by brain damage during or around the time of birth, due to factors such as oxygen deprivation, and is considered a birth injury (1). Many parents want to know if their child’s cerebral palsy can be…

Recent Study Finds Benefits of ECMO during Therapeutic Hypothermia for Infants with HIE

Babies with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) often experience respiratory problems. Because of this, they may require assistance with breathing after birth. This can be done through the urgent method of resuscitation, or the more long-term assistance of inhaled nitric acid, high-frequency ventilation, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) (1). These long-term practices are commonly used for neonates…

Recent Findings on the Association Between Placental Lesions and HIE

Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is a brain injury caused by insufficient oxygenated blood flow to the brain at or near the time of delivery. There are many potential causes of HIE, including high-risk pregnancy conditions, labor and delivery issues, and medical mistakes. Recent studies have sought to find connections between placental and umbilical cord issues and…

Cost-effectiveness of betamethasone therapy for women at risk of delivering a premature baby (between 34 and 36 weeks)

Premature babies often have numerous health problems, and require extensive, costly treatments (1). Their underdeveloped organs and general fragility make them especially susceptible to birth injuries, infections, and other neonatal complications. In the United States, 70% of premature births occur between weeks 34 and 36 of pregnancy, or the “late preterm period” (2) These infants…

Study of birth injury cases sheds light on medical errors responsible for cerebral palsy

Cerebral palsy often stems from medical malpractice around the time of birth (making it a birth injury), and many parents choose to sue the doctors or hospitals that are responsible. Information collected from these legal cases could shed light on the types of medical errors most likely to contribute to a cerebral palsy diagnosis; however,…

New studies on Sildenafil treatment in babies with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE)

Sildenafil is the phosphodiesterase-V inhibitor more commonly known as Viagra (1). It has been successful in treating pediatric pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) because it increases blood pressure in the lungs. It has grown in usage and is now the major treatment option for PAH in babies, even though it is still used off-label and requires…

Placental Screenings: The Future of Prenatal Care?

The placenta, or “afterbirth,” was previously considered a simple, relatively unimportant organ. However, over time, researchers have realized that it plays a critical role not only in fetal development and maternal health during pregnancy, but also in the long-term well being of both mothers and their children. Although its importance is now generally recognized throughout…

Bulging Fontanelle

What is a bulging fontanelle? The human skull is made of many bones, which join together to protect the brain. The lines at which they fuse are called sutures. When a baby is born, these sutures are not yet all firmly joined together. This allows the head to be a bit more flexible as it…