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Evolution of Feeding and Developmental Outcomes in Infants With Moderate Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy: A Pilot Study.

Neonatal Network : NN 2023 August 2
The purpose of the study was to describe the evolution of outcomes among full-term infants with moderate hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE); from their early swallowing and feeding abilities during hospitalization, to their later developmental outcomes at 6 and 12 months. Four participants with moderate HIE were recruited. Early feeding and swallowing were assessed using the Neonatal Feeding Assessment Scale and video fluoroscopic swallow studies. Developmental assessments were conducted at 6 and 12 months using the Rossetti Infant-Toddler Language Scale and Vineland-3 Scale. All participants displayed atypical outcomes throughout the study, including oropharyngeal dysphagia initially during hospitalization. All participants were discharged on oral feeds but some breastfeeding difficulties persisted. Variable but pervasive developmental delays were found among all participants at 6 and 12 months. This study emphasizes the need for consistent early intervention from the neonatal period onward, for all infants with moderate HIE. Future studies should use larger cohorts, longer follow-up, and correlational designs.

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