The birth of a child is often one of the most joyful moments of a parent’s life. Birth injuries rob these moments of their joy. Every year, approximately 30,000 babies are born in the United States with some form of birth injury. Occasionally, this takes the form of brain damage. Today, we’ll give you an overview of infant brain damage—from its signs and symptoms, to its causes.
Signs and Symptoms
You might think that the signs of infant brain damage would be obvious. This is not always the case. In a mild case of brain damage caused by birth injury, you might not notice the symptoms for some time. Severe cases, on the other hand, reveal themselves far more obviously.
Be on the look-out for any of the following signs in your newborn:
- A stiff neck
- Irregularly shaped spine
- Excessive crying
- Difficulties with feeding or sleeping
The above symptoms should be evident relatively shortly after the child’s birth. If the nature of the injury is less severe, symptoms will probably develop later. Your child may develop a sleeping disorder or exhibit excessive fatigue. They could also struggle with physical tasks; infant brain damage can even cause paralysis.
Most commonly, infant brain damage is caused by one of two forms of birth injury: asphyxiation or physical trauma.
Cerebral palsy is one of the most well-known birth injuries. Although not always caused by birth injury (for instance, maternal infections or substance abuse can cause it as well), asphyxiation is a common cause. One of the most common causes of asphyxiation during birth is the umbilical cord becoming wrapped around the child’s neck. Additionally, if the baby becomes stuck in the birth canal, that can cause asphyxiation.
This leads us to our second cause of infant brain damage: physical trauma. If a baby is stuck in the birth canal, the doctor will use tools such as forceps. If they fail to use these tools cautiously, they may yank on the child’s head with excessive force, causing a traumatic brain injury.
Can it be avoided?
The sad truth is that any of the above causes were likely avoidable. Often, the negligence of a medical professional can lead to infant brain damage. Doctors should monitor your pregnancy and childbirth for signs of fetal distress, and advise the appropriate precautions. Most commonly, this will take the form of a cesarean section. This is how medical malpractice can cause infant brain injuries.
If you suspect medical malpractice caused your child’s brain damage, a lawsuit can help with the financial and psychological cost of such an injury. The Snyder Law Group is here to help.
Contact The Snyder Law Group Today
The Snyder Law Group, LLC, proudly represents clients throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C. Our experienced Baltimore attorneys understand the frustration that comes with an insurance company, medical professional, or other party that refuses to accept liability for negligent or reckless behavior. You can take heart in knowing there are talented and experienced lawyers ready to work for you. We are experienced in handling personal injury claims of medical malpractice or injury resulting from serious car and truck accidents, and have secured hundreds of millions in verdicts settlements*. Please visit our website, www.410thefirm.com, for more information and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.