What is intraventricular hemorrhage in newborns? — Intraventricular hemorrhage in newborns is a condition that happens when blood vessels inside a newborn baby’s brain burst and bleed. It is most common in newborns who:
●Are born more than 8 weeks early (this is called “preterm” or “premature” birth). A normal pregnancy lasts 40 weeks, so babies born at 32 weeks or less are more likely to have this problem.
●Newborns who weigh about 3 pounds or less. This is less than half the weight of an average newborn.
What are the symptoms of intraventricular hemorrhage in newborns? — Some newborns have no symptoms. A baby that has symptoms might:
●Be more sleepy or less alert than usual
●Have weak, floppy muscles
●Move less than normal
●Stop breathing for short periods of time
Is there a test for intraventricular hemorrhage in newborns? — Yes. Doctors can test for this condition with an ultrasound of the baby’s head. An ultrasound uses sound waves to create pictures of the inside of the body. Some doctors do routine ultrasounds on premature babies to check for this condition.
How is intraventricular hemorrhage in newborns treated? — There are no treatments to stop the bleeding. But your baby’s doctor will check to make sure your baby’s blood flow and oxygen levels are normal. This can prevent further bleeding.
Your baby might need fluids given through a small tube in a vein, called an “IV.” He or she might also need oxygen, which is given through:
●A plastic hood put over the baby’s head
●2 plastic tubes put in the baby’s nostrils
●A mask over the baby’s mouth and nose in a treatment called “continuous positive airway pressure” or CPAP.
Can intraventricular hemorrhage in newborns be prevented? — You can reduce the chance that your baby will have an intraventricular hemorrhage by going to all your doctor or midwife’s visits when you are pregnant and following their advice. This will lower the chances that you will have a baby that is born too early.