Q. Can sudden asphyxia cause brain injury in a child?

Answered by
Dr. Ambekar Sudheer
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Apr 02, 2016 and last reviewed on: Jan 03, 2020

Hi doctor,

I am concerned about the health of my nephew who has got brain injury during his birth. In the past he had DHA supplements and used to do exercise. I need your consult regarding the extent of injury, effects, solutions and medication. Please guide.



Welcome to

  • Kindly give me some more information about the clinical status of your nephew such as age, growth pattern, milestones and any other symptoms associated with it.

Revert back with the asked details to a neurologist online -->

Hi doctor,

Thanks a lot for your consideration. My nephew was born 54 days back. He is less than two months of age. Due to some sudden asphyxia, he got injury in brain as you can see in reports. I want clarity regarding his injuries or damage, ill effects of injury, preventive measures and solutions. Please guide us.



Welcome back to

The report (attachment removed to protect patient identity) suggests that the baby needs to be investigated for some sort of a metabolic disease.

  • A metabolic disease is an abnormality in one or more chemical reactions in the body.

One needs to investigate the following:

  1. Is the baby gaining weight normally? Is the baby feeding well?
  2. Does the baby have any abnormal signs such as hypotonia or seizures?
  3. Whether the baby has excessive jaundice? Is the baby not active according to age?
  • The MRI does not confirm the presence of a metabolic disorder. However, if the baby has above signs and symptoms, one needs to do further tests to identify the problem.

Revert back with the details to a neurologist online -->

Hi doctor,

He suffered birth asphyxia and had seizures few times on second and third day after birth. After that he was put on Phenobarbital for almost a month and has no seizures thereafter. Phenobarbital was discontinued almost 20 days back and no seizures have been reported so far. He is on mother feed, gaining weight and no hypotonia as of now. Additionally, he has no jaundice and is active for his age. Does this injury have any bad effect on baby? Is there a chance of any kind of disability in future? Are injuries recoverable? Please suggest few steps for recovery. On reading the reports and baby's actual behavior, please suggest us some step that has to be taken from our side for his benefit. Can you recommend any kind of medicine or supplements or physical exercise for baby, for improving his quality of life? Thanks in advance for your help and support.



Welcome back to

Here are my suggestions:

  • Birth asphyxia might have an adverse effect on the development of the child. Up to 40% of the children might have some damage to the brain with consequent delayed development.
  • The injuries are static and not recoverable. However, in children, there is a good chance of the rest of the brain tissue to take over the function of the damaged brain.
  • I suggest that you should monitor the baby's growth in the form of maintaining a growth chart (height, weight, head circumference and milestones). If the baby falls behind any of these then we should investigate for the cause.
  • For now, the baby needs breast milk and weaning as usual. You should consult the pediatrician for more information on the diet. The baby does not need any other special tonic.
  • I suggest the baby should be taken care as a normal baby. Growth should be monitored closely. If there is any delay in growth and development then you should visit your doctor immediately.

For further clarifications consult a neurologist online -->

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