Did Your Child Suffer Infant Brain Injury?
Among all the birth injuries possible, infant brain injury is one of the most devastating. Parents expecting a normal, healthy child face the reality that their newborn suffered permanent disabling damage during a difficult delivery. Even more troubling is that many birth brain injuries could have been prevented.
Pediatric Brain Injury Symptoms
Following a difficult labor and delivery, a doctor may decide to do an MRI or CT scan to check for pediatric brain injury. However, these tests may show little or no abnormality. Many signs of brain injury at birth do not appear until later when a child is not behaving or developing as a normal baby would at the same age. The signs and symptoms of a child's brain injury depend largely on the type, cause and severity of the damage.
Some common signs and symptoms of infant brain injury include:
- Infant's head fails to expand causing increased pressure on the brain
- Sporadic, uncontrolled body movements
- Trouble focusing
- Excessive crying and fussiness
- Baby won't sleep lying down
- Refusal to eat
- Developmental delays
- Difficulty breathing
- Cerebral palsy
These symptoms are not exclusive, and many signs are common among all newborn babies. For example, it can be difficult to discern whether your child is just abnormally fussy, or whether the fussiness is a sign of a more serious condition. And developmental delays may not be particularly worrisome until a child is at least 24 months old because of the differences in children. It is important to pay attention to all of your child's symptoms, as a combination of these is more likely to indicate brain damage than just any one of them.
If you do suspect your child has a brain injury, talk to your physician immediately. Early intervention, in some cases, can help lessen the effects of brain damage.
Causes of Infant Brain Injury
Hypoxia, or decreased oxygen, and perinatal asphyxia are common causes of infant brain injury. This can occur for a variety of reasons, including an umbilical cord wrapped around a baby's neck or fetal distress from a prolonged labor. In some instances, a deformity of the skull causes bleeding in the brain, although this is rare.
Sadly, brain injuries rarely occur while a child is safely in the womb. Most of them happen during a difficult labor and delivery. Birth brain injury may have been prevented if a doctor followed proper medical procedure in diagnosing and responding to risk factors. Ask yourself:
- Did a doctor allow labor to continue for a long time, only to rush you into emergency C-section?
- Did you feel abandoned by nurse and hospital staff during your labor?
- Did a doctor or nurse seem worried when delivering your baby?
- Did it take a while to deliver your baby's shoulders and body after the head was out?
- Did your doctor dismiss concerns of the lack of response in your baby?
If your child's birth injury was preventable you may be able to seek compensation to help pay for the treatment and special care your child will need.
The Birth Injury Team is a subsidiary of Silvers, Langsam & Weitzman, P.C., made up of experienced attorneys and medical professionals. Our lawyers have more than 100 years of combined experience handling birth injury cases. We are dedicated to helping parents understand their child's condition and guiding them through the process of securing the care and support they need. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients across the United States.