How to Recognize the Causes and Signs of Brain Injuries at Birth

Brain damage may result if jaundice in a newborn is not properly treatedCould your newborn baby have already suffered a serious brain injury such as oxygen deprivation, a skull fracture, or an intracranial hemorrhage? Newborns may be at risk of these serious, potentially life-changing injuries. Therefore, there are some things that all parents should know.

Know When to Worry

A brain injury may be easy to see or may be suspected because of subtle symptoms. Either way, a potential brain injury in an infant is a medical emergency and you should seek prompt medical attention for your child if you notice that your child has:

  • Excessive crying or fussiness.
  • Difficulty feeding.
  • Difficulty focusing her eyes.
  • A misshapen head or facial deformity.
  • Missed developmental milestones.

These—and other concerning signs—should be discussed with your pediatrician.

Know How Brain Injuries Happen at Birth

Your child has not acquired an injury in a motor vehicle crash or other type of accident. Instead, your child was born with a brain injury. The most common reasons for newborn brain injuries include:

  • Oxygen deprivation. This occurs when a fetus is deprived of oxygen in the womb or during birth. The baby may be in fetal distress, the umbilical cord may be caught around her neck, or she may become caught in the birth canal. Doctors, nurses, and hospitals have a duty to recognize these dangers and perform emergency deliveries when appropriate.
     
  • Use of delivery assistance tools. This includes vacuums and forceps. When these tools are not used correctly, a newborn’s brain may be injured.
     
  • Untreated jaundice. When jaundice is properly diagnosed and treated, then most newborns recover fully. However, if jaundice is not diagnosed and treated, then brain damage may result.
     

If your child suffered a brain injury because a hospital or healthcare provider was negligent, then your child may be able to recover damages for the injuries she suffered.

Know The Consequences of Brain Injuries at Birth

The consequences of brain injuries at birth may continue long after childhood. These consequences can include:

  • Seizures.
  • Cerebral palsy.
  • Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy.
  • Neonatal encephalopathy.
  • Periventricular encephalopathy.
  • Developmental delays.
  • Intellectual disabilities.

Brain injuries in newborns, like brain injuries in people of any age, are unique and depend on many factors such as which part of the brain was hurt, how long the brain was deprived of oxygen, and how quickly medical treatment was obtained.

Know How to Get Help

If your child has suffered this type of birth injury then we encourage you to reach out to us for a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation. Our attorneys and staff nurse would be pleased to answer your questions and help your family during this difficult time. Please call us any time at 888-450-4456.

Matthew L. White
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Founder & Partner of Louisville Personal Injury Law Firm Gray & White Law