Measuring Infant Head Circumference: An instructional video for healthcare providers

Measuring Infant Head Circumference: An instructional video for healthcare providers

Title: Measuring Infant Head
Circumference and Length – [Alina] Zika virus
is a cause of microcephaly and other severe fetal
brain abnormalities. All infants born to mothers with
laboratory evidence of confirmed or possible Zika virus infection
during pregnancy should receive a comprehensive physical
exam, including measurement of head circumference, length
and weight, and assessment of gestational age; a neurologic
examination; a head ultrasound to assess the brain’s structure; a standard newborn
hearing screen; and testing for Zika
virus infection before hospital discharge. This video will show
clinicians how to measure an infant’s
head and length. Microcephaly is a birth defect in which an infant’s head
is smaller than expected when compared with infants
of the same sex and age or the same gestational age. Microcephaly is typically
defined as an occipitofrontal
circumference or head circumference
below the third percentile for gestational age and sex;
however, standards can vary. Microcephaly is a clinical
finding, not a diagnosis. Head circumference is
considered a reliable assessment of the volume of the
underlying brain. To assess an infant
for microcephaly, a clinician measures the
newborn’s head circumference. It is important that healthcare
providers measure head circumference in the
same way, consistently, to accurately identify if
an infant has microcephaly. This is especially important in
the midst of the Zika outbreak because correctly
identifying infants who may have Zika-associated
microcephaly can help health authorities connect them
to the services they need. Measuring head circumference
isn’t always as simple as it sounds. Let’s review important
considerations and methods now. First, start with a measuring
tape that cannot be stretched. Next, securely wrap the tape around the widest possible
circumference of the head. That’s usually one to two
finger widths above the eyebrow on the forehead, and then
across the most prominent part of the back of the head,
as you can see here. We recommend that you
reposition the tape and repeat the measurements
three times. Record the largest measurement,
to the nearest 0.1 centimeters. Measuring length ideally
should be completed by two healthcare providers. To measure length,
lay the infant face-up on an infantometer. The first healthcare provider
correctly positions the newborn’s head against
the head plate and gently holds the
head in this position. The second healthcare provider
gently presses the infant’s knees to straighten the legs. Then, he or she should
press the bottom of the foot on to the foot plate,
so that there is no gap between the foot
and the foot plate. Record the length of the infant by reading the measurement
on the infantometer. If an infantometer
is not available, a non-stretchable
measuring tape can be used. Positioning the infant’s
head against a wall or other vertical flat
surface is the best way to mark the head position. The infant’s legs are
then extended as before, the heel position is marked,
and the distance from the wall to the infant’s heel is
measured with the tape. The presence of molding,
cephalohematoma, or other factors related to
delivery can affect the accuracy of head circumference
measurements. The time required for these
factors to resolve can vary. Head circumference measurements
taken after the first 24 hours of life may be more indicative
of the true head size. However, most measures of
head circumference at birth from reference charts
by age and sex are based on measurements taken no later
than 24 hours after birth. The most important factor is that the head circumference
is carefully measured and documented at some point
during the first week of life. Head circumference is one of three important growth
parameters to measure at birth. The diagnosis of
microcephaly refers only to the head circumference;
therefore, it is essential to measure the other growth
parameters, birth weight and birth length, to assess the
infant’s overall growth pattern. Although the finding of a
proportionately small size in all three growth
parameters is of concern and should be investigated
in the context of possible congenital
Zika virus infection, there are many possible
etiologies that could also cause
the same growth pattern. The occurrence of a
head circumference that is disproportionately
small compared to the other measurements
is more indicative of a specific problem
with brain development. Infants with abnormalities
consistent with congenital Zika syndrome
should also receive follow-up care according to CDC’s latest
guidance, which is updated as new information
becomes available. The latest guidance can be
found on CDC’s Zika website. Our top priority for the
Zika response is protecting pregnant women. We also are working to ensure
that infants with microcephaly and other brain abnormalities
receive the services they need. Accurately identifying infants
with microcephaly is crucial. We hope that this instructional
video has provided you with the tools you need to accurately measure head
circumference and infant length. For more information about Zika,
including clinical guidance and tools for healthcare
providers, please visit CDC’s website
at C-D-C-dot-gov-slash-Zika.

Daniel Yohans

9 thoughts on “Measuring Infant Head Circumference: An instructional video for healthcare providers

  1. Reject the M.O.B says:

    Does this mean the cdc has convinced enough pregnant mothers to take vaccines during pregnancy that they expect many microencephalic babies in the near future? And then can declare Zika outbreak once the dirty water takes effect? In addition to NALED spraying and false positive Zika test results from mothers recently vaccinated for flu we sure have a lot of evidence against your crimes against humanity. Tic toc

  2. Reshmi Shetty says:

    This video is insightful video.if you want to know more detailed information about head circumference tape you cant visit the ibis medical ,India

  3. Anjali Pareekar says:

    This video is insightful video.if you want to know more detailed information about head circumference tape you can visit the ibis medical ,India

  4. Debbie Davis says:

    How is it ruled out that it is in fact a normal brain with just a small head compared to body Size?

  5. Estella Nubonyin says:

    does it means babies w big head has no problem?


    Please please help me my baby have a microcephaly problem please can you give me your number

  7. Shabnam Khosa says:

    Microcephaly patients can walk, crawl and stand properly in their lifetime. My baby is of one year.. She is having this problem of delayed milestone or microcephaly. She is not able to sit crawl and stand properly till now , please let me know if she could able to cover up her milestones


    Please dr help me my son have microcephaly

  9. Naheed Akhtar says:

    My baby age 8 month head size 40 .normal

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