N. Gamakova 1, D. Lubenova 2
1Neonatology Department – Ruse,
2Department of Kinesitherapy and Rehabilitation, National Sports Academy Vassil Levski – Sofia, Bulgaria
Objective: The goal of this paper is to evaluate whether early physiotherapy intervention (EPI) that started immediately after birth has a positive outcome for premature neonates with hypoxic impairments of the central nervous system (CNS) who are at risk of developing motor disorders.
Material and Methods: The study is prospective and includes preterm neonates born at the Neonatal Department of the Regional hospital in Ruse, Bulgaria. The newborns are with hypoxic impairments of the CNS and are split into two groups. The first group includes those neonates whose parents signed a written consent form and had an EPI that started immediately after birth and lasted until the infant was 3 months old and released from the Neonatology department. The mothers are trained and perform the physiotherapy techniques at home. This paper presents the precise EPI techniques that are being used.
The second group includes the neonates without EPI. Neurodevelopment tests are performed at the age of 1, 2 and 3 months after birth to the neonates from both groups in order to access the efficiency of the EPI.
Results: The neurodevelopment and motor development tests performed to both groups of preterm neonates show considerable improvement in the motor development of those neonates with EPI that started immediately after birth.
Discussion: Neonate’s brain has high plasticity after birth and great opportunities for recovery. Thanks to this fact premature neonates with hypoxic impairments of the CNS and at risk of developing motor disorders have better motor outcomes if they have EPI that started within the first days after birth.
Key words: early physiotherapy, hypoxic impairment, premature neonates.