Complications during birth result in various disorders that affect children’s development and health in future life. Perinatal asphyxia is among these complications, and it often leads to developmental or neurological disorders. Some of the children who had this condition require long-term mental and physical health care. The present paper will explain perinatal asphyxia in more detail and offer advice on how families can benefit from insurance, psychiatric services, and other special accommodations.
Perinatal asphyxia is defined as “a lack of blood flow or gas exchange to or from the fetus in the period immediately before, during, or after the birth process” (Gillam-Krakauer and Gowen par. 1). When the blood flow to the fetus is disrupted, they can no longer receive the required amounts of oxygen and glucose, leading to hypoxia and brain ischemia, which, in turn, cause brain damage. The incidence of perinatal asphyxia in Europe and the United States is estimated to be 2 cases per 1000 births (Gillam-Krakauer and Gowen). Cooling therapy shortly after birth, along with the restoration of normal blood flow, helps to restore some of the neurons and prevent further damage. However, one in four of surviving infants develops neurologic conditions that prevent normal development and require lifelong management.
Insurance and Health Services
Children with neurological disorders caused by perinatal asphyxia require comprehensive care to address their developmental and mental health needs. Tilton states that such conditions are usually managed by a multidisciplinary team of care providers, including neurologists, psychiatrists, and behavioral specialists (15). Because the neurological disorders resulting from perinatal asphyxia require long-term care, parents often need insurance to be able to afford it. As noted by Musumeci and Chidambaram, Medicaid coverage can be obtained through Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits or state Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance programs supporting children with special needs.
Medicaid’s package involves physical, behavioral, and special education services, thus allowing children who had perinatal asphyxia to manage the consequences of the condition. Private insurance through parents’ employment or other sources is also available, and 49% of children with special care needs use this type of insurance (Musumeci and Chidambaram). A comprehensive insurance package covering all types of services required by the child will help parents to provide adequate care to and improve the well-being of children with special needs.
Caring for a Child with Special Needs
Children with developmental or neurological conditions require special care both from medical professionals and caregivers. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the medical-home care model to provide continuous care to children with special needs (Traisman 522). This model includes providing maintenance care at home, and thus, families might need to hire a home nurse or to complete specialized care courses. Caring for a child with special needs is challenging for most parents, which is why they should seek additional help and support to cope with stress and overcome problems. Visiting a mental health professional may benefit families who are in this situation by improving their coping capacity and promoting adjustment to new family dynamics.
Overall, perinatal asphyxia is relatively common in developed countries, and many children who experienced it require special care throughout their life. Federal and state insurance programs may help caregivers to ensure that the child receives necessary services. Nevertheless, to promote the continuity of care, families also need to make arrangements for home care. Mental health professionals can help caregivers of children with special needs following perinatal asphyxia to overcome difficulties and adjust to the situation.
Gillam-Krakauer, Maria, and Clarence W. Gowen Jr. “Birth Asphyxia.” StatPearls. 2018. Web.
Musumeci, MaryBeth, and Priya Chidambaram. “Medicaid’s Role for Children with Special Health Care Needs: A Look at Eligibility, Services, and Spending.” Kaiser Family Foundation. 2018. Web.
Tilton, Ann H. “Transition of Children with Neurological Disorders.” Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports, vol. 18, no. 4, 2018, pp. 14-19.
Traisman, Edward S. “Care of the Child with Special Needs.” Pediatric Annals, vol. 44, no. 12, 2015, pp. 522-525.