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.
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.