Expectant mothers in Texas should be aware of the most common type of brain injury that occurs among premature infants: periventricular leukomalacia. It is a condition where the periventricular white matter, located around the sides and top of the brain, is damaged.
There are various types of cerebral palsy, including spastic, athetoid and ataxic CP. However, residents of Texas should be aware that some patients exhibit symptoms that are common to all of these types, in which case they have what medical specialists call mixed cerebral palsy. Approximately 10% of CP patients have this condition.
Many Texas parents-to-be are concerned about the potential for serious health problems for their babies. While infant mortality rates have declined nationwide, 22,335 babies lose their lives each year. Parents are worried their children might suffer serious injuries during birth that can be fatal or life-changing. There are certain factors that are the most common causes of infant mortality. Prenatal complications and birth and labor injuries are some of the more frequent contributors to babies' deaths, as are infectious diseases, birth defects, auto accidents and homicide.
Meconium aspiration syndrome is a birth injury that expecting mothers in Texas and around the country should know about. Meconium is the stool that infants pass before they start to feed on milk or formula. Usually, infants pass meconium after birth. Problems with the placenta or umbilical cord, though, can cause infants to pass meconium while in the uterus due to the stress caused by lower blood and oxygen supply.
In the past, Texas newborns who experienced fetal problems or asphyxia were often grouped together under the generic term "fetal distress." However, this term does not give an accurate description of what the baby may be experiencing. The Committee on Obstetric Practice of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is recommending that the term fetal distress get replaced with non-reassuring fetal status.
Babies born at 34 weeks or more run the risk of developing a breathing condition called persistent pulmonary hypertension at birth. Before babies are born, they receive oxygen from their mother, and most of this oxygen does not reach the lungs because the blood vessels are closed. Once a newborn takes the first few breaths, the blood vessels open. Mothers in Texas should know that with PPHN, the blood vessels do not open entirely.
Difficult births in Texas occasionally result in birth injuries, like Klumpke paralysis. This paralysis limits an infant's ability to use the affected shoulder and arm. Damage to the nerves of the brachial plexus that happen during birth cause the partial paralysis. In some cases, a baby might have a drooping eye as well. Most infants have a chance of regaining most function if they receive appropriate treatment.
All Texas parents want their baby to be born healthy. Unfortunately, there are several injuries that an infant can suffer during the birthing process. One of those injuries is brachial plexus birth palsy, which is also known as Erb's palsy.
In Texas and across the U.S., many infants born prematurely suffer a brain injury called periventricular leukomalacia, or PVL. The ventricles, or fluid-filled areas, of the brain are fragile before 32 weeks of gestation, and changes to blood flow in these areas can easily lead to PVL. Infection during delivery is another possible cause of PVL.
Jaundice occurs when the blood has high levels of bilirubin, a yellow substance created from the replacement of old red blood cells. In a baby, the placenta breaks down bilirubin before the liver takes over, but liver development may be slow. Therefore, it's not unusual for infants to be born with high bilirubin levels and develop jaundice. Expectant mothers in Texas may want to know more.