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Can testing now, detect whether or not my 18 year-old-daughter has anoxic brain injury from an incident when she was 3 months old?

By Anonymous September 15, 2011 - 2:10pm
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My daughter is one of quintuplets who was born at 27 weeks gestation. She was born in June with craneosyasdosis and could not have surgery until she was 10 pounds or 6 months old. Both came at the same time. Until then, she spent 3 and a half months in the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit and a week after she came home, my husband and I took an hour long nap only to find when we awoke that she was face down in her bed, blue, and not breathing. We took her to the hospital where she spent the next 3 days in the PICU with the conclusion that she must have had reflux (I never bought that answer). We don't know how long she lay like that with her face down, but she has since had multiple issues that we can't get anyone to diagnose nor take seriously. She's has coordination and motor issues, severe episodes of "daydreaming", talks out of one side of her mouth (slight) with a slight lisp on certain sounds, and finds learning and retaining anything extremely difficult. She has a slight tremble to her hands and finds it difficult to put her thoughts on paper -- seems to be a brain to hand disconnect. She's had CT scans, neurologists look at her, sleep study (inconclusive), therapies, and psychological testing. All to no avail. We're told she's an extremely "good" daydreamer and her psychological testing shows her academic IQ at 99 and her artistic IQ at 120. She has had speech therapy at my request, occupational therapy for her one-sided weakness issues, but no-one will venture past this. I live in the Research Triangle Park for crying out loud. Isn't this supposed to be the "City of Medicine". I need some answers but don't know where to turn. My daughter is fully aware of her difficulties and feels inadequate as a student and a person. HELP!

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Your family has had quite a lot to deal with. I can appreciate your desire to get answers, which you deserve. Any scans of the brain, at this time, will not reveal the extent of injury done when she was younger. The brain continues to grow until the age of 25. Reflux and aspiration are not uncommon for causing respiratory arrest in infants. Within 5 minutes of anoxia, brain cells begin to die. It is not uncommon to have development lags in premature children. Testing is a snapshot look at the child. You may notice problems just by the day to day contact with your daughter. These issues are often not picked up during testing.
You may want to consult a neuropsychologist who specializes in brain injury.

September 15, 2011 - 5:17pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Maryann Gromisch RN)

Thank you Maryann,
That's at least a place I've not been to before. I'll look into one.

September 16, 2011 - 10:25pm
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