Study identifies risk of birth injuries

Study identifies risk of birth injuries

Researchers looking at incidents of babies being denied oxygen at birth have determined that birth injuries and some prenatal conditions can cause future disabilities. The findings should prove valuable to future parents and health-care providers in Maryland and beyond..

The research group looked at 82,000 children who now are age 5. Their study determined that when the brain was denied oxygen as a result of a variety of medical conditions, the babies faced a risk of being born with one of many brain development issues.

For instance, the research showed that the lack of oxygen could be connected with a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Birth asphyxia increased the risk of ADHD by 26 percent. Birth asphyxia occurs when the baby doesn’t receive enough oxygen either before, during or after birth.

Preeclampsia, which happens when a woman develops high blood pressure and other symptoms in her pregnancy, increases the risk of the child developing ADHD by almost 35 percent.

Another condition, neonatal respiratory distress syndrome, led to an increased risk of ADHD reaching almost 50 percent.

Aside from low levels of oxygen, other complications with the umbilical cord or with the way the babies were delivered could lead to a 13 percent rise in the risk of ADHD.

A researcher said that this work could help to recognize newborns who can benefit from early diagnosis and treatment to try to reverse conditions such as ADHD. While some of the conditions that lead to a lack of oxygen cannot be helped by doctors, others can.

Additional research to determine ways to reduce the number of birth injuries is always welcome. With the amount of prenatal testing available, doctors can attempt to mitigate any factors that may lead to ADHD or other conditions. Expectant parents deserve the very best care for their baby, and that starts well before the time of birth.

Source: Medical Daily, Low Levels of Oxygen During Birth Increase ADHD Risk,” Amber Moore, Dec. 10, 2012

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