The birth of a child is a wonderful event that should be celebrated. In rare instances, however, complications may arise that create brain injuries for the infant, which can have a variety of long-term consequences. Sometimes, these brain injuries occur due to factors outside the control of the parents or the doctors. But in the instance where an infant’s brain injury could have been prevented, parents deserve to know why.
Doctors are responsible for detecting complications early in the birthing process, taking proper care during birthing procedures, and making adjustments to ensure the safety of both the infant and the mother. When they fail to do this, doctors open their patient up the possibility of birth injuries to the brain that may lead to conditions such as skull fractures, cephalohematomas, or cerebral palsy. Failure to identify complications, improper use of forceps, or unnecessary C-sections may all factor into whether your child is born with a dangerous or potentially fatal brain injury.
When so much is at stake, you deserve the best help available. If you aren’t getting that in the operating room, Bennet & Heyman can provide it in the courtroom. Our dedicated birth-brain injury attorneys are ready and willing to ensure that justice is served when it comes to your family. You deserve compensation for the shortcomings of your medical care. To schedule a consultation about your options for no charge, call us at (410) 429-7856.
Common Causes of Birth Brain Injuries
There are two aspects of cause to consider regarding brain injuries sustained during birth. First, you must identify what physical condition led to the specific injury. Second, consider what natural and artificial factors contributed to the existence or exacerbation of the condition and, critically, whether different measures should have been implemented in order to avoid those factors.
Read more below about the common conditions in newborns that most often lead to birth brain injuries.
Baby Stuck in Birth Canal
If the baby gets stuck in the birth canal, they could start suffering from hypoxia without proper oxygenation. In the birth canal, the umbilical cord can become compressed, preventing a flow of oxygen to the baby. If the baby has not yet emerged from the birth canal, then they wouldn’t be able to breath outside the womb. As hypoxia sets in, the baby could suffer brain injuries from the lack of oxygen.
Doctors should be able to tell ahead of time if the mother’s birth canal is too narrow. Failing to perform a C-section instead could be a breach of duty.
When babies are in breech, they are not aligned properly to be delivered through the birth canal. Sometimes babies twist and come out of breech position, but other times, an emergency C-section is required. If the doctor fails to properly monitor the situation and act as needed, the baby could suffer from lack of oxygen. That hypoxia can cause substantial brain injuries.
An umbilical cord that gets wrapped around the baby’s neck in the womb is known as a nuchal cord. This can compress the cord and the baby’s veins and arteries in their neck. This stops the flow of oxygen in the umbilical cord and the flow of blood to the baby’s brain, cutting off oxygen. Like the other two injuries listed above, this birth injury can be fixed with proper monitoring and an emergency C-section. Without resolving the situation, the baby could be asphyxiated and suffer serious brain injuries.
Bleeding in the Brain
Brain bleeding is attributed to forceful trauma during labor and delivery. The most commonly understood risks for causing bleeding in the brain in an infant are prolonged labor and use of birthing apparatuses such as forceps or vacuum extraction devices. Both of these factors are typically within the control and purview of the medical care provider. Failure to act as another similarly skilled person in the field might in such a situation could endanger the well-being of the infant and place liability squarely on the medical care provider (or their insurer).
Brain bleeds can lead to conditions such as newborn cephalohematomas, which exert pressure on the infant’s brain, causing swelling, seizures, and potential brain damage.
Improper Use of Forceps
When forceps are unnecessary in a delivery, a doctor should not use them. If they decide to use forceps anyway, the doctor could put the baby’s safety at risk. Many brain injuries and head injuries in newborns are caused by the forceful clamping of forceps. While forceps are sometimes necessary to help deliver a baby, they should not be used when they are not necessary. If a doctor turns to using forceps when they are unnecessary, the put the baby at unnecessary risk of injury. The same is true of other birth assist tools, such as vacuum tools.
If the doctor or other medical professionals in the delivery room drop the baby, they could cause the baby serious head injuries. Traumatic brain injuries from being dropped can be fatal to newborns. Non-fatal injuries can still cause substantial brain damage, cerebral palsy, and other effects. While babies are slippery immediately after being born, doctors and nurses should take care, use towels, and keep the baby over tables and cribs.
We Can Answer Your Questions on Cause of Birth Brain Injuries
If you believe that your child may have suffered a birth brain injury due to the negligence of the medical professional tasked with ensuring their safety, you deserve answers. We can help you get them and secure your child’s future financial well-being as well. To schedule your initial consultation for free, call us at (410) 429-7856.