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J Child Neurol. 2003 Mar;18(3):155-64.

Fetal and neonatal neurologic case histories: assessment of brain disorders in the context of fetal-maternal-placental disease. Part 2: Neonatal neurologic consultations in the context of adverse antepartum and intrapartum events.

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Department of Pediatrics, Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA.


The more conventional role of the pediatric neurologist involves the evaluation of the child after birth. Although the pediatric neurologist rarely attends the delivery of the neonate, consultation by the neurologist should begin immediately following stabilization by the neonatal resuscitation team. Four interrelated aspects of the neurologist's clinical assessment will be discussed in the context of reaching a consultative opinion, which must incorporate knowledge of chronologic events before as well as during labor and delivery. This evaluation encompasses an assessment of levels of arousal, increased or decreased muscle tone, presence of seizures, and effects of systemic diseases on the central nervous system, which are the essential elements of a complete neurologic examination. Documentation of the neonate's neurologic condition, together with knowledge of maternal, fetal, and placental diseases, will help anticipate neuroresuscitative decisions, as well as subsequent neurologic deficits.

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