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How can brain damage due to oxygen deprivation be treated in a baby?

Q: My 4 months old nephew had a stroke about 3 weeks ago due to a cut in the oxygen supply to his brain for a short while. His condition is now stable and all the other vitals like heart rate, respiration, lungs, etc are working fine. The doctors are now waiting for his kidney to start working. His MRI report of the brain reveals evolving hypoxic ischaemic insult, which is fairly diffuse with well-developed signs of laminar necrosis. Ischaemic insult involves not only the cerebral hemispheres, but also the basal ganglia region and the cerebellum. What does it mean? Will he be able to lead a healthy life? Can cord blood banking help him recover? Please advise.

A:The child has suffered diffuse hypoxic ischemic damage (HIE) due to grossly reduced oxygen and blood delivery to the brain etc. The MRI also has shown laminar necrosis and diffuse changes affecting various areas of the brain indicating a severe damage.

Although it is not correct to forecast so early in infants, but one may expect a significant disability in his development affecting walking, cognition, speech and language. A risk for convulsions exists. Periodic assessment subsequently will help us to determine the nature of permanent disabilities.


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