Brain Injuries at Birth: What You Need to Know

Brain Injuries at Birth: What You Need to Know

Posted By Maher Law Firm || 8-Aug-2018

Every parent hopes for their baby to be born healthy, but we know such things are not always within our control. However, what parents do not expect is for a trusted medical professional to be the cause of their newborn baby’s suffering. Unfortunately, birth injuries are quite common and one of the most devastating types of birth injuries an infant can sustain is a brain injury, which could result in lifelong consequences.

The Most Common Types

Brain injuries can be sustained in a number of different ways during the delivery process, resulting in just as many different types of complications and lifelong disabilities. Some of the most common ones include:

  • Mild brain injuries: These types of injuries include hematoma, fractures, or even mild brain bleeding.
  • Moderate brain injuries: Moderate brain injuries include more serious fractures or brain bleeding as well as oxygen deprivation or subdural hemorrhage.
  • Severe brain injuries: Severe brain injuries can include hemorrhages, which could put pressure on the brain and result in seizures or high bilirubin levels. A severe intraventricular hemorrhage could affect the brain tissue and result in underdevelopment of the brain. Lastly, one of the most devastating types of severe brain injuries is trauma to the head, which could potentially result in any combination of injuries.

The Statistics

In recent decades, birth injury statistics have dropped, but the risk is still very real. Below are some of the more alarming birth injury statistics:

  • One out of every 9,714 births in the United States includes a birth injury
  • About 28,000 birth injuries are reported every year in the United States
  • According to the National Healthcare Quality Report, an estimated 5.08/1000 birth injuries occur in females and 6.68/1000 occur in male infants
  • The most common birth injuries include brachial plexus injuries, fractures, hematoma, subdural and intracranial hemorrhage, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, and oxygen deprivation
  • Rural births are 33 times more likely to result in birth injuries
  • In 2006 alone, it is estimated that over 157,000 injuries could have been prevented

Symptoms of Brain Injuries in an Infant

If your infant suffered a brain injury during the delivery process, the symptoms may or may not be immediately noticeable. In some cases, it takes time for the signs to surface. Below are some of the most common symptoms of a brain injury in an infant:

  • Abnormal temperament: All babies cry after birth, but excessive crying and high-pitched wails along with other abnormal behavior, including the refusal of nourishment or being overly fussy could all be potential indicators of a brain injury.
  • Physical appearance: In some cases, it is possible for there to be an abnormal physical appearance in an infant with brain damage. For example, the infant might have an unusually small skull, have difficulty focusing its eyes, have deformed facial features, a deformed spinal cord, or an abnormally large head.
  • Delays in development: As previously mentioned, you might not be able to immediately notice that your infant sustained brain damage until he or she reaches the developmental stages and exhibits delays. For example, he or she might not be able to crawl or smile. That said, not all babies hit certain developmental milestones at the same time, so first consult with your doctor to determine if your baby suffered any brain damage.

Treatment Options for Brain Damage

Not all brain injuries sustained at birth are the same and, therefore, treatments will vary depending on the severity. An infant who suffered a mild brain injury, for example, would best benefit from physical therapy, occupational therapy, and medication. Whereas, infants who suffer severe traumatic brain injuries might require surgery to decrease swelling and intracranial pressure, and to repair damaged blood vessels.

Another treatment option, which is somewhat new, is hypothermia therapy. This has been known to produce positive results if administered after birth. It works by cooling the infant’s body temperature for a few days and, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), it increases the chance of an infant’s survival and decreases the chances of long-term and permanent brain damage.

Orlando Birth Injury Attorney

At The Maher Law Firm, our birth injury attorneys in Orlando have been fighting on behalf of injured infants and their families for over 40 years. We are prepared to do what it takes to hold all responsible parties accountable for their negligent actions. If you believe your baby suffered a brain injury as a result of a careless medical professional’s actions, reach out to our team for the effective legal representation you deserve.

Get started on your case today and contact our law office at (855) 338-0720 to request your free initial case evaluation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys.

Categories: Medical Malpractice
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