An intra-cranial hemorrhage is bleeding in the brain which is caused by the rupture of a blood vessel within the skull. In an infant, intracranial hemorrhage may be the result of deformity of the skull bones during delivery, or from a lack of oxygen. An intracranial hemorrhage, if left untreated, can damage to areas of the brain crucial to motor function and development.
What Causes Intracranial Hemorrhage?
Variations in blood pressure, hypoxia-ischemia (reduced oxygen supply to the brain), and pressure applied to the baby’s head during labor are causes of this condition. During childbirth contractions, fetal presentation, and fetal size can cause complications leading to tissue damage, edema, or hemorrhage in the baby. Factors linked with the likelihood of birth-related head trauma are preterm labor (when a woman goes into labor between 20 and 37 weeks of pregnancy), breech position, and multiplicity.
What are the Signs of Intra-Cranial Hemorrhage?
The baby may have seizures, bradycardia (a slower than normal heart rate), respiratory distress, hypothermia, or swelling in the scalp. Apnea may also be present, which is a pause in the regular breathing of the baby.