Seizure Activity in Newborns – Hypoxia

According to the Florida Neonatal Neurological Network about 20 out of every 1,000 full term births will be affected by a lack of oxygen to the brain (hypoxia) during labor and delivery.  Babies who are born prematurely are at even greater risk, because their lungs are not fully developed and they are unable to fully manage breathing on their own. Hypoxia is the most frequent cause of seizure activity in newborns and can cause additional…

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Periventricular Leukomalacia in Newborns

Periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) is an injury to the brain which occurs when tissue deep in the baby’s brain, called the white matter, dies away or is damaged.   If a baby’s brain does not receive enough oxygen during labor and delivery, the brain cells in the baby’s white matter can die or be damaged.  The patches of damaged or dying brain cells which lead to a diagnosis of PVL can be seen on brain imaging studies,…

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Birth Injury Due To Placental Abruption

The placenta is an organ that develops inside a woman’s uterus during pregnancy. Once a baby is conceived, the placenta forms to supply oxygen and nutrients to the baby, as well as remove waste products from the baby’s blood. The placenta attaches to the uterine wall, and the baby’s umbilical cord arises from it. In some cases, however, the placenta can separate from the uterine wall, causing the baby to stop receiving an adequate supply…

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Microcephaly Following Hypoxic Brain Injury at Birth

Microcephaly is a medical condition defined by a small head circumference. It is noticeable as a disproportionately small head for the size of the growing child. There are many different ways this condition can develop, including preventable brain injury at birth, which stunts the growth of the baby’s brain and skull. Acquired microcephaly in very young children can be caused by lack of oxygen during birth. If signs of the baby suffering from hypoxia during…

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Chorioamnionitis

Chorioamnionitis is a serious complication during labor that may result in serious, irreversible injuries to the mother and child at birth.  Affecting approximately 10% of pregnancies, this condition is also known as intra-amniotic infection (IAI).  Chorioamnionitis is characterized by inflammation and infection of the fetal membranes (amnion and chorion) due to a bacterial infection. This intrauterine infection typically occurs when bacteria ascends from the vagina, through the cervix and into the uterus. This condition is…

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Incompetent Cervix

An incompetent cervix, also called a cervical insufficiency, is a potentially serious condition of pregnancy that occurs when weak cervical tissue causes or contributes to premature birth or the loss of an otherwise healthy pregnancy. This type of condition has been described by experts as a “diagnostic dilemma”. Because an incompetent cervix can often be difficult to diagnose, physicians should be constantly on the alert for this condition. If there is any suspicion of this…

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Vacuum Extraction And Subgaleal Hematoma

Approximately 5% (1 in 20) of all deliveries in the United States are operative vaginal deliveries. An operative vaginal delivery refers to a physician’s use of either forceps or a vacuum device when a woman’s labor has stalled. Over time, the rate of operative vaginal delivery has been steadily decreasing. However, the number of vacuum-assisted deliveries has been increasing. It is vital that vacuum extraction is done correctly by a trained medical professional. The vacuum-assisted…

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Vacuum-Assisted Delivery And Birth Injury

Sometimes, during the labor and delivery process, the baby needs a little help getting through the birth canal. Approximately 1 out of 20 vaginal deliveries in the United States result in some form of assistance being required. Prolonged labor can be dangerous to the baby as well as extremely painful and exhausting to the mother. Two common forms of assisted delivery, used by medical providers to when labor is stalled, are vacuum extraction and forceps…

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Group B Strep Infection Causing Birth Injury

Group B streptococcus (GBS), is a bacterium that can cause serious infections in newborn babies. It is one of many types of streptococcal bacteria, commonly referred to as “strep.” Approximately one in three to four pregnant women in the US carries GBS. It is found in the lower part of the digestive system (colon) and/or in the vagina. GBS is not harmful to healthy adults but is extremely dangerous for newborn infants when found in…

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Kernicterus

Despite advances in neonatal care, preventable injuries to newborns are still prevalent in the United States. Jaundice, a common medical condition in infants, is characterized by yellow tinting of a newborn’s skin and the whites of the eyes (conjunctiva). This yellowing is a sign that there is too much bilirubin (a substance formed by the breakdown of red blood cells) in the baby’s blood. Although most jaundice resolves without causing any harm, it is important…

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