Tests & Procedures

Tests & Procedures

To allow the doctors and nurses to get more information, your baby might undergo several investigations. The medical professionals will decide which investigations are most useful. Some of the additional investigations may include:


This is a special monitor that records brain activity. Several thin wires (electrodes) will be put on or just under the skin of your baby’s head. These electrodes do not send electricity into your baby’s head; they record the activity in your baby’s brain. This will enable the medical team to monitor your baby’s electrical brain waves and see how your baby is responding to both the treatment and any medication that has been given.

Head Ultrasound (Cranial Ultrasound)

This can be done at your baby’s cot side. The doctors will be looking at the structure of your baby’s brain through the ‘soft spot’ just above your baby’s forehead. It can show if there has been any bleeding, stroke or other problems that are occasionally associated with HIE.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI Scan)

This scan helps to assess the extent of any brain damage and provides information on the way the brain is maturing. This scan produces detailed pictures of your baby’s brain. The time to get these pictures following HIE is around 5-10 days of age, although earlier scans may be done depending on your baby’s condition. The scanner is usually located a distance from the Neonatal Unit, it will probably be necessary to transport your baby to the scan in a special incubator. This can happen even if your baby is on a ventilator. As it is a specialist scan, it requires an expert to read and interpret the images. It may take some weeks to get the results back; you may have left the hospital by this time and receive the results at an outpatient appointment.

Each of the investigations that your baby undergoes, as well as the way that they respond to treatments, are pieces of a jigsaw. While no individual piece tells the whole story, it is by putting together all the information that the medical and nursing staff will start to develop a better picture of what your baby’s future may hold.