Medri Vodcast: Neonatology

Moro response

Feb. 4, 2008

Moro response can be produced in several different ways. Hold the baby in supine position, supporting the back and pelvis with one hand and arm and the head with the other hand, and allowing the head to drop several centimeters with a sudden, rapid, not too forceful movement. You can also invoke it by producing a sudden loud noise (for example striking the examining table with the palms of your hands on either side of the baby’s head), or by any other mechanical stimulation, as shown in the video. The normal baby throws out both arms quickly with symmetical abduction and spreads the fingers. This is often followed by jerky adduction of the arms as though the hands were reaching for an unseen security. An absent or incomplete Moro is seen in upper motor neuron lesions. An asymmetrical Moro response may be due to a previously unsuspected fracture of the clavicle or Erb’s palsy.

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