If you suspect your baby of having a brain bleed, you want a fast, accurate diagnosis and a favorable prognosis for their future. The first inkling of concern for your baby probably started when you noticed typical symptoms of brain bleeds in babies. The symptoms you noticed might include any or all of the following:
- Weak suckling
- Extreme sleepiness
- Decreases in your baby’s reflexes
- Noticeably decreased muscle tone
- Seizures and abnormal movements
- Fluctuations in your baby’s heart rate
- Changes in your baby’s blood pressure
Some babies might suffer from a brain bleed but have no symptoms at all, which makes observation and testing by physicians especially important. When you begin to notice the symptoms of a brain bleed in your son or daughter, consult a physician immediately.
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Prognosis for Babies Who Have Suffered a Brain Bleed
Once the symptoms of brain bleeds in babies has been confirmed in your son or daughter, you want a doctor to make a final diagnosis. After you receive a confirmed diagnosis, you want to understand how your baby’s life and health will be affected. The outlook or prognosis depends on two factors:
- How early your baby was born
- How severe the brain bleed is
Newborns who have a very low-grade (less severe) brain bleed will experience little to no problems or long-term effects. Infants who have high-grade (more severe) brain bleeds will have long-term health concerns and may suffer from developmental delays and problems controlling their movements. Extremely severe brain bleeds might result in fatalities.
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Intraventricular Hemorrhage Primarily Affects Preterm Babies
There are several different kinds of brain bleeds. The medical condition called intraventricular hemorrhage—bleeding into the fluid-filled ventricles inside your baby’s brain—occurs most often in preterm newborns but can also occur in full-term infants, although this is rare, according to Johns Hopkins.
Newborns are at greater risk because the blood vessels in their brains are immature, underdeveloped, and fragile. The last two and a half months of gestation is when the blood vessels become more resilient. Intraventricular hemorrhage is also more likely to occur in preterm babies with respiratory distress and unstable blood pressure.
Intraventricular Hemorrhage Grades
Intraventricular hemorrhage of the newborn can vary in severity and grade. MedlinePlus states that the four types of intraventricular hemorrhage grades are:
- Grades 1 and 2 are less severe. They involve only small amounts of bleeding in the small areas of your baby’s ventricles. They usually present no long-term brain injury or brain damage to your infant.
- Grade 3 and Grade 4 involve heavier bleeding around the ventricles which then become enlarged by blood. These are the most serious grades and can lead to long-term brain injury for your son or daughter.
Brain bleeds that are Grades 3 or 4 are extremely serious and may result in hydrocephalus, a condition where your baby has too much cerebral spinal fluid in their brain.
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Types of Brain Bleeds
Bleeding in and around your baby’s brain due to a birth injury is called an intracranial hemorrhage. This type of bleeding can occur in several places in your baby’s brain. The types and symptoms of brain bleeds in babies include:
- Subarachnoid hemorrhage which happens in the deepest of the two membranes that cover your newborn’s brain. Subarachnoid hemorrhage is more common in full-term newborns but can strike premature babies as well. Newborns with a subarachnoid hemorrhage have periods when they stop breathing, are lethargic, and have seizures.
- Subdural hemorrhage which happens between the outer and inner layers of your baby’s brain covering. A subdural hemorrhage might add increased pressure to the surface of your baby’s brain. Newborns with a subdural hemorrhage will be closely monitored to watch for the development of infant seizures.
- Epidural hematoma happens between the outer layer of tissue that covers your baby’s brain and their skull. An epidural hematoma, caused by a skull fracture, can increase pressure on your baby’s brain causing their soft spot to bulge. Newborns with an epidural hematoma may suffer from apnea and seizures.
The symptoms of brain bleeds in babies will vary according to their birth injury and hemorrhage type. A doctor will closely examine your baby and assess the symptoms of their specific bleeding to determine which type of brain bleed they have.
Filing a Birth Injury Lawsuit
The symptoms of brain bleeds in babies are alarming to any parent. Finding out your son or daughter’s brain bleed was the result of a birth injury and could have been avoided is even more alarming. When this happens, a lawyer can help you file a birth injury lawsuit on behalf of your child.
An attorney in your state can help you assign liability to the medical professionals who played a role in your infant’s brain bleed. Once liability has been assigned, your attorney can help you file a lawsuit to receive financial compensation for your newborn’s current and future medical expenses. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group for help today: (800) 222-9529.