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What Can Cause Brain Damage in Newborns

Read on to learn the common causes of brain damage in newborns.

Many people don’t realize how common birth injuries are, which is why it’s important to know the risk. In particular, there can be an enormous risk of brain damage during childbirth. Read on to learn the common causes of brain damage in newborns.

Kernicterus

A very common and preventable condition in newborns is jaundice, which comes from an excess of the natural chemical bilirubin in the baby’s blood. Jaundice is typically easy to diagnose because the main sign is a yellowing of the skin or eyes. Also, a doctor can monitor and treat jaundice very easily. However, if the jaundice doesn’t wear off naturally, then it can worsen and develop into kernicterus, and the bilirubin can harm the infant’s brain. The doctor should watch for signs of the jaundice worsening to prevent this from happening.

Infections

In the early stages of a pregnancy, an infection can be incredibly harmful enough to lead to brain damage. The doctor should monitor the mother for signs of an infection like CMV or German measles, which are known causes of cerebral palsy. But regardless of the infection, when the mother’s immune system starts fighting it indirectly creates inflammation in the baby’s brain. Despite sanitation procedures, infections can be very common in hospitals. If an infection gets transmitted to a newborn baby, who is still too weak to fight it, this can also lead to damaging illness.

Asphyxia

When the brain is completely deprived of oxygen, then this is known as asphyxia. Birth asphyxia is a major risk factor for newborn babies. Some birth-related causes of asphyxia could include choking on the umbilical cord or almost drowning if birthed too slowly. Usually, birth asphyxia is a result of carelessness or medical negligence during the delivery.

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