One thing that can bring fear to the heart of a preemie parent is hearing about any brain injury. These tiniest of babies are at risk of suffering from some life-threatening injuries. It is imperative that these injuries are handled appropriately and immediately so that the baby doesn't end up with severe damage or even death.
Babies who are born prematurely face the risk of behavioral disorders, cerebral palsy or epilepsy, just to name a few. The risk of something going amiss in these preemies is greater with the earlier the baby is born. Babies who are born at six months gestation are at the highest risk because babies born prior to that are unlikely to survive.
One issue that is known to impact these babies is a lack of oxygen. This can occur in the days and weeks after birth and must be managed very carefully. Because the baby's lungs are likely immature, the baby might have to be intubated or have other assistance with breathing.
Babies who don't get enough oxygen can suffer from damage to the white matter of the brain. This can cause the brain to short circuit, which can lead to the problems preemies might experience.
Some hospitals have begun to use incubators that can fit inside of an MRI machine. This option can help doctors to determine when there is white matter damage. This lets doctors know when action is needed and might even help them to come up with a treatment plan that can help these tiny humans to cope with the issues they are facing.
Improper management of conditions that impact preemies can lead to death or disability. Parents might want to seek compensation for this improper management.
Source: NPR, "Why Brain Injuries Are More Common In Preemies," John Hamilton, accessed Dec. 15, 2017