Causes of Brain Injury at Birth
More than one million people in the United States currently have some type of brain damage, and a huge percentage of these individuals are infants. Infant brain damage often occurs during pregnancy, during delivery, or shortly right after birth.
The following are common causes of brain injury at birth:
Lack of Oxygen
A leading cause of infant brain damage is a lack of oxygen shortly after birth. According to the American Journal of Neuroradiology, at least two to 10 out of every 1,000 newborns experience oxygen issues. Common reasons infants are deprived of oxygen at birth include birth canal issues, umbilical cord problems, placental eruptions, and blocked airways. Unfortunately, with adequate medical monitoring and treatment, many of these cases involving lack of oxygen could have been prevented.
Physical Trauma during Labor & Delivery
Physical trauma during labor and delivery may also result in brain injury and can be caused due to difficulties during labor, excessive pulling, and abnormal use of birth-assisting tools.
Jaundice occurs when bilirubin develops in an infant’s blood, causing the skin and the white area of the eyes to appear yellowish. If jaundice is left untreated, the infant risks developing kernicterus, a form of brain damage.
Decreased Glucose Levels
Dropped infant glucose levels typically happen during prolonged labor that is associated with immense difficulties. It is imperative to check glucose levels after delivery, especially if the mother experiences an exhausting labor and delivery process.
While maternal infections are a common complication during birth, they can also cause the onset of infant brain damage. As we mentioned earlier, if a doctor monitors, detects, and treats the infections, then the change of infant brain damage is reduced substantially.