A brain hemorrhage is a serious–even life-threatening–medical condition. Your doctor and other members of your health care team can help avoid this dangerous condition by monitoring your pregnancy and your unborn baby’s growth and development. Careful prenatal care can help avoid a plethora of concerns, including the health of your baby’s head and brain. Having your son or daughter diagnosed with a brain hemorrhage is challenging. Knowing doctors could have prevented a brain hemorrhage from occurring at birth can make an already challenging situation worse.
In many cases, women who have an increased risk of premature delivery should be given corticosteroids to reduce the risk of a brain hemorrhage. Pregnant women who take medications that affect their risks of heavy bleeding should be prescribed vitamin K prior to the delivery of their newborn. Infants born in a hospital with an on-site NICU also decreases the risk of damage resulting from a brain hemorrhage. Your doctor should advise you of these and other necessary precautions to safeguard your health and the health of your baby.
Doctors can prevent a brain hemorrhage from occurring at birth by making concerted efforts to prevent premature delivery, avoiding actions that might lead to undue pressure or ruptured blood vessels in your baby, and monitoring the gestational age and weight of your baby throughout your pregnancy.
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The Causes of Infant Brain Hemorrhage
A brain hemorrhage is often caused by premature birth with infants born more than ten weeks premature having the highest risk for a type of brain bleeding called an intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH). This happens because the brain of a premature infant is fragile due to not being fully developed. IVH is seen more often in newborns with respiratory distress syndrome and unstable blood pressure.
Brain hemorrhages might also be caused by trauma at birth or by the pressure on your baby’s head as they pass through the birth canal or by the misuse or mishandling of assistive birth devices such as forceps and vacuum extractors. Doctors can prevent a brain hemorrhage from occurring at birth by handling implements carefully or by choosing a cesarean section delivery in cases of emergencies, prolonged labor, and delivery, or other potential traumas that might be present at birth.
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A subarachnoid hemorrhage is bleeding between your baby’s brain and the surrounding membranes, called the subarachnoid space. When this type of bleeding is seen in the brains of newborns, it is sometimes the result of birth injury or birth trauma. A subarachnoid hemorrhage is a very serious medical condition that can leave your infant with permanent brain damage. It should be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible following your child’s birth because severe cases can lead to infant death when left untreated.
Diagnosing a Brain Hemorrhage
Diagnosing a brain hemorrhage usually involves imaging tests. These tests are typically noninvasive and include one or more of the following:
- A computed tomography (CT) scan is an imaging test that processes x-ray images taken at multiple angles. Your child’s physician will inject a contrast dye that allows him to view your infant’s blood vessels in detail.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an imaging test that employs magnetic fields and radio waves. A doctor may inject dye into a blood vessel to create a detailed view of arteries and veins and to highlight blood flow.
These diagnostic imaging tests will allow your doctor to see inside your child’s brain in detail, make a timely and accurate diagnosis, and create a comprehensive treatment plan.
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A Cesarean Section Delivery
A cesarean section, or C-section, is the surgical delivery of your baby through incisions made in your abdomen and uterus. Your doctor may recommend a C-section delivery if your labor fails to progress, your baby starts to show signs of distress, or if the umbilical cord becomes prolapsed, compressed, or wrapped around your baby’s neck. A C-section may also be warranted if an ultrasound suggests a potential problem at birth, your doctor becomes concerned about your baby’s heartbeat, or you show signs of placental abruption.
Birth Injury Lawsuit for a Preventable Brain Hemorrhage
A brain hemorrhage can lead to a variety of complications and medical issues for your baby. A birth injury attorney can help you in your fight for everything your child is entitled to receive.
If you believe your doctor could have prevented a brain hemorrhage from occurring at the birth of your child, you may be eligible for financial compensation to help you afford the ongoing medical care your child might require. To speak with an attorney in your state and receive a no-cost, no-obligation evaluation of your birth injury case, call The Birth Injury Lawyers Group at (800) 222-9529.