When a newborn baby develops an intracranial hemorrhage, or brain bleed, it can be a very dangerous and terrifying situation. Lifelong disabilities, or even death, could be the result. However, not all brain hemorrhages are the same. Bleeding can occur in different parts of the brain and it can be caused by different types of medical negligence.
Doctors’ Mistakes Can Cause Brain Bleeds in Babies
Sometimes, newborns have a brain hemorrhage because they were born prematurely or they had a medical condition, such as high blood pressure or liver disease. Other times, however, the bleeding was caused by a doctor or other medical professional who failed to exercise reasonable care during the birthing process. This could happen, for example, if:
- A vacuum or forceps were used negligently.
- An umbilical cord complication was not properly diagnosed or treated.
- Labor went on too long.
- The baby was too big to be safely delivered vaginally.
- The baby was in the breech position during delivery.
- The mother’s contractions were too strong, typically because of medication used to speed up labor or delivery.
- The baby suffered from oxygen deprivation or fetal distress during labor or delivery and that was not adequately addressed by medical professionals.
Different Types of Neonatal Brain Hemorrhages
Depending on the cause and location of the brain bleed, the baby may have suffered one of the following types of hemorrhages:
- Subdural hemorrhages. Also known as a hematoma, these bleeds occur when blood vessels between the brain and the layer of tissue that separates the brain from the skull ruptures. This can increase pressure inside the brain and result in breathing issues, a slow heart rate, or a coma.
- Subarachnoid hemorrhages. Like subdural hemorrhages, subarachnoid hemorrhages occur when blood vessels rupture. Subarachnoid bleeds occur when blood vessels close to the skull bone burst. This may cause too much cerebral spinal fluid to build up. Swelling may occur and parts of the brain tissue may die. Permanent brain damage may occur.
- Cephalohematomas. When blood vessels rupture and the blood collects near the skull bone, a cephalohematoma occurs. Skull deformities and infections can result.
- Intraventricular hemorrhages. The brain is separated into four ventricles. When a bleed occurs in any ventricle, it is known as an intraventricular hemorrhage. Bleeding within the ventricles can cause hydrocephalus and lifelong brain damage.
- Subgaleal hemorrhages. These bleeds happen when veins that are close to the scalp rupture. The blood collects near the scalp. Swelling, low blood pressure, and low blood volume can occur and result in lifelong hearing problems, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and death.
What to Do If Your Baby Suffers a Brain Bleed Birth Injury
If your child suffered a brain bleed during labor or delivery because a doctor, nurse, midwife, or hospital was negligent, your child may have the right to recover damages from the liable party or parties.
As a parent, it is up to you to start taking action on your child’s behalf. You do not need to wait until you know all of the long-term effects of your child’s hemorrhage before you contact a lawyer. Instead, it is important to contact the legal team at Gray and White Law as soon as you can after your child’s diagnosis.
Our experienced lawyers, staff nurse, and entire legal team will work hard to find out exactly what happened to your child and our attorneys will advise you on your child’s legal options so that you can make an informed decision about protecting your child’s future.
We would be pleased to provide this information to you during a free, no-obligation consultation. If we pursue a legal case on behalf of your child, you won’t owe us any legal fees until your child’s case has been successfully resolved. To schedule your first meeting with us, please call us at any time – 24/7/365 – or email us at your convenience. We also invite you to download a free copy of our book, Family First: How to Get the Help You Need After a Birth Injury Happens to Your Child in Kentucky, to learn more about protecting your child’s rights today.