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Brain Injury in the Infant: The Old, the New, and the Uncertain

Badr (Zahr), Lina Kurdahi DNSc, RN, CPNP, FAAN; Purdy, Isabell PhD, RN, NNP, CPNP

The Journal of Perinatal & Neonatal Nursing: April-June 2006 - Volume 20 - Issue 2 - p 163–175
Feature Article

Although neonatal brain injury occurs most frequently after a perinatal hypoxic-ischemic insult, recently studies have noted that variable causes such as metabolic and reperfusion events can result in, or aggravate, a brain insult. Current data suggest that about 2 to 5 of 1000 live births in the United States and more so in developing countries experience a brain injury Approximately 20% to 40% of infants who survive the brain injury develop significant neurological and developmental impairments. The resulting impact on the child, family, and society presents a formidable challenge to healthcare professionals. Although several important insights have been gained in the last several years about the epidemiology, diagnosis, and mechanism of brain injury, management remains mostly a cocktail of controversial trials. This article provides a comprehensive review of the pathology, clinical manifestations, and timely management of infants with brain injury.

School of Nursing, Azusa Pacific University (Dr Badr), and David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles (Dr Purdy).

Corresponding author: Lina Kurdahi Badr (Zahr), DNSc, RN, CPNP, FAAN, 701 E Foothill Blvd, PO Box 7000, Azusa, CA 91702 (e-mail:

The authors have no conflict of interest.

Submitted for publication: November 17, 2005; Accepted for publication: February 1, 2006

© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.