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Can infants recover from brain injuries experienced at birth?

On Behalf of | Mar 9, 2022 | Medical Malpractice

When an infant suffers a serious brain injury at a New York hospital during childbirth, whether that infant is able to make a full recovery depends on a variety of factors. In some cases, a medical professional’s actions may cause or contribute to a brain injury received at birth. In other instances, a medical professional’s actions may help prevent or limit lifelong harm to the infant that might otherwise result from a brain injury.

According to UCLA Health, many infant brain injuries result from similar situations or circumstances. When infant brain injuries are mild or moderate, rather than severe, in nature, they are often treatable.

Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy and infant brain injury

Many infant brain injuries experienced during childbirth involve hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. This is a condition that occurs when the baby fails to receive an adequate supply of oxygen during delivery. Somewhere between about a fifth and a quarter of all babies with HIE wind up with a permanent disability and neurodevelopmental impairment.

Prematurity and infant brain injury

Prematurity is also a common factor in infant brain injury. About 10% of premature babies develop cerebral palsy, which impacts an individual’s balance and posture. About half of all premature babies develop some type of learning disability or cognitive disorder later in life.

Often, whether an infant with a brain injury makes a full recovery depends on whether he or she receives prompt medical treatment. Increasingly, hospitals and physicians are using new therapies, such as therapeutic hypothermia, to help treat infant brain injuries in addition to providing the infant with nutrition, oxygen and ventilation.

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