A brain damage birth injury lawyer can help your family understand if your child’s brain injury—and resulting complications and conditions—are the result of medical negligence. If so, their injuries may support a birth injury medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor, hospital, or another skilled medical care provider.
Brain injuries that occur before, during, or just after delivery can cause many types of cognitive, behavioral, and emotional disabilities. This may include:
- Problems with fine motor skills that may delay writing or drawing
- Delayed language development and other speech and communication problems
- Delays in learning basic math or reading skills
- Learning disabilities
- Poor decision-making skills and impulsiveness
Brain damage can also cause cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities, developmental delays, and more.
Brain damage associated with cerebral palsy, in particular, can also cause intellectual and cognitive disabilities. According to data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), when monitoring a large cohort in one U.S. metropolitan city, they found:
- About six out of every 10 8-year-old children with cerebral palsy also had a developmental disability
- 40% also had an intellectual disability
- About 25% had both epilepsy and an intellectual disability
Research also shows that those with brain damage that causes cerebral palsy are at an increased risk for autism spectrum disorder.
Some children may overcome many of the challenges they face due to neonatal brain damage, but others will face lasting limitations throughout their lives. Your family may need to pay for ongoing medical treatment, therapy, care, and support.
To learn more about your legal rights based on the specific details of your child’s injuries and medical diagnoses, reach out to the Birth Injury Lawyers Group and get help today. We provide complimentary case reviews for families like yours. You may be able to hold the negligent doctor responsible and recover compensation for your child’s care.
Call (800) 222-9529 now to get started. We have team members available to help you for free today.
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Can a Baby Recover from Severe Brain Damage?
Severe brain damage is often not survivable. When a baby suffers serious injuries to their brain, whether from trauma, asphyxia, or other concerns, it may not continue functioning properly. This damage can affect their body’s ability to handle even basic functions, such as regulating breathing, heart rate, body temperature, and more.
For example, suppose a baby’s umbilical cord becomes wrapped around their neck, cutting off their oxygen supply. If the doctor and nurses are not monitoring their vital statistics properly and fail to recognize the baby’s stress, they will not know to take emergency action to deliver the baby. Any amount of oxygen deprivation can affect the baby’s health and cause permanent damage to the brain.
Those who survive brain damage during labor and delivery may face lasting disabilities. How brain damage affects an individual depends on many factors, including where the brain suffered an injury, how severe the injury is, and any co-occurring injuries that develop. Children who have motor disabilities may have better outcomes than children who have intellectual delays as well, for example.
While children can learn to adapt and work around their disabilities, there is no cure for the brain damage that has already occurred. To improve their abilities and quality of life, manage symptoms, and reduce complications, many children who suffered brain damage as infants require ongoing medical treatment and therapy.
Seizure disorders require medication for management. Physical therapy can help reduce the risk of muscle contractures in children with cerebral palsy. Speech therapy can make it easier for children to communicate, eat, and more.
Some people living with brain damage will need to continue their medications and care into adulthood. Others will thrive thanks to early intervention, special education, therapy, and other supportive care.
Since how brain damage affects each child varies widely, their prognosis varies as well. Some children who sustain a brain injury as newborns will go on to live independently, have their own families, and manage their own self-care activities. Some will have very few limitations, while others will face a lifetime of special medical needs and treatment.
Each child’s case will require a team of doctors and therapists who can put a plan in place to address their specific needs and help them live to their fullest potential.
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Can You Tell if a Newborn Has Brain Damage?
Sometimes, brain damage in a newborn is apparent immediately, but that is not always the case. The symptoms a neonate has shortly after birth will depend on the individual child, their injuries, and how the baby is affected by their injuries. It may be difficult to know the severity of your child’s brain injury and the lifelong effects it may have until they are at least two years old. In some cases, they may not receive a diagnosis of their complications or medical condition until they are of school age or beyond.
Apgar Assessments and Early Indicators of Brain Damage
While relying on Apgar assessments is not a perfect way to determine if your baby suffered brain damage, it may give you a good indication of their overall health. This is especially true if the doctor repeats the test after 10 minutes in addition to the one- and five-minute assessments, according to a study published in Pediatrics.
Apgar assessments at one and five minutes after birth can help assess the baby’s condition, including how they handled the delivery and are adjusting to breathing outside the womb. They involve assessing the baby in five categories and scoring them from zero to two for each, with 10 being the top overall score. A test taken 10 minutes after birth can provide additional information about the baby’s condition, especially in children who may have suffered birth hypoxia or another type of injury.
According to the study in Pediatrics, babies who score less than a 3 on an Apgar assessment taken 10 minutes after birth have a high risk of death or disability, although this is not absolute. Most babies who have very low Apgar scores at one minute improve dramatically before this time, however. More than nine out of 10 babies who scored low on their one-minute assessment had a higher score at five minutes and continued to improve during their assessment at 10 minutes.
Other Early Indicators of Birth Injuries
In addition to low Apgar scores, you may see other early indications of a brain injury in your infant. These signs could include the onset of seizures, often within the first day of life, or other conditions your doctor should identify and diagnose.
If there are physical injuries to your baby’s head, signs of birth asphyxia due to complications, or symptoms of a stroke, your baby’s doctor should recognize these and explain that a brain injury is possible. If there are indications of a brain injury, your doctor should order additional testing and close observation of your newborn.
In some cases, there may be no indicators of brain damage immediately after birth. This means you may only learn of your child’s injuries when they do not meet developmental milestones or have other concerns later.
What Causes Brain Damage in Newborns?
Brain damage in neonates can occur for several reasons, including head trauma, infections, birth asphyxiation, and more. In many cases, brain damage in a newborn may support a medical malpractice lawsuit if medical negligence played a role.
According to research published in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood, the most common type of birth injury that contributes to brain damage in full-term infants is a lack of proper oxygenation of the brain, known as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, or HIE. In babies born too early, the most common cause is a specific type of bleeding in the brain known as periventricular hemorrhage.
The causes of HIE can vary but may include the following.
When a baby experiences lack of oxygen during labor or delivery, it can cause a serious brain injury. The brain and other vital organs require a constant, consistent flow of oxygenated blood. When something happens to limit or prevent oxygen from reaching the brain, even for only a few minutes, brain damage is a common result.
Concerns About the Placenta or Umbilical Cord
When a baby is in the womb—as well as during labor and delivery—they receive their oxygen via the placenta and umbilical cord. This means that several parts must be functioning properly to ensure the baby receives the oxygenated blood they need—the mother’s respiratory system, the placenta, and the umbilical cord. If anything happens to any part of this system, brain damage can occur.
These complications could include breathing problems or low oxygen levels in the mother, placental abruption, umbilical prolapse, nuchal cord (around the baby’s neck), or other issues.
Some maternal infections could cause brain damage in the baby, especially if the mother had a high or uncontrolled fever during pregnancy or delivery. Many of the infections known to cause this type of birth injury are preventable. This is one reason why pregnant women receive regular screenings and vaccinations as necessary.
When jaundice is severe and goes untreated or unrecognized, a child can suffer brain damage and other negative effects. Death is a possibility in the most severe cases. Sometimes, jaundice occurs as a result of an infection or another brain injury. It is imperative that your child’s doctor assesses the baby’s liver health and conducts a bilirubin blood test to diagnose jaundice and ensure they receive treatment as needed.
Preterm babies and those who suffer traumatic head injuries before or during delivery are also at an increased risk of brain damage. Depending on the facts of your child’s case, neonatal brain damage could support a medical malpractice birth injury claim.
If you believe your child may be a victim of birth injury medical malpractice, you can get help today by calling the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at (800) 222-9529. Our team members provide complimentary case evaluations for families of possible birth injury victims.
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Can a Baby’s Brain Repair Itself?
While babies are very resilient and can often adapt and overcome many of the limitations they suffer from a brain injury, the brain will not fully repair itself following brain damage. Babies’ brains can recover to some extent following an injury. Their developing brains may connect new pathways as they develop that allow them to function differently.
Despite this limited healing that takes place, brain cells that die because of traumatic injuries or asphyxiation will not regenerate or heal. The baby still suffered brain damage, even if they can adapt to the challenges that it causes.
If the brain damage a baby suffers is the result of a minor injury, they may only suffer temporary symptoms and have no lasting complications. For example, a minor brain injury can cause a slight developmental delay. The baby may not meet motor or learning milestones as quickly as their peers. However, they may still reach them with support and therapy. Their brain damage still exists, but they may suffer no long-term impairments as a result.
When a baby suffers a moderate or severe brain injury, however, it is likely there will be some type of long-term complication or medical condition that occurs. The baby’s brain will not be able to recover on its own in this case, and your child will most likely experience some ill effects as a result. These could include epilepsy, cerebral palsy, developmental disabilities, low vision, hearing loss, or other concerns.
Just because the baby’s brain does not repair itself following a birth injury does not mean they will have permanent limitations that affect their physical, intellectual, emotional, or behavioral abilities on a daily basis. Many children can receive treatment, undergo therapy, or receive early intervention and special education support that allows them to learn to live with their challenges. These children may still be able to work around their impairments, provide their own self-care, live independently, and graduate school with their peers.
What Are the Symptoms of Brain Damage in a Newborn?
When and how brain damage symptoms appear in your newborn will depend greatly on how their brain injury occurred, the part of the brain affected, and the severity of the injury. One of the earliest indicators of the possibility of a problem for a newborn is a low Apgar score. While Apgar assessments are no longer considered the primary marker to indicate that the baby experienced asphyxia or another brain injury, they are still useful in assessing a baby’s related symptoms.
A study in Neurobiology of Disease confirms that Apgar assessments may indicate the baby’s prognosis, especially in babies who have a very low score at five minutes or 10 minutes after birth. The likelihood of death or permanent disabilities is likely in these children, although that is not universal.
In some cases, a baby may have obvious signs of stress or brain damage following birth. This is true when the baby suffers serious head trauma, such as a forceps injury. It may also be true when there is a major concern related to the placenta or umbilical cord, including nuchal cord or placental abruption. Some medical conditions that cause brain damage can also have apparent symptoms at birth, such as spina bifida or microcephaly.
In babies with brain damage that caused epilepsy, it is not uncommon for them to experience their first seizure within the first 24 hours of birth. In some cases, seizures may be the only early indicator of a problem.
Infant Nausea, Dizziness, or Vomiting
It is normal for babies to spit up. However, frequent bouts of unexplained nausea, dizziness, or vomiting may indicate an underlying medical condition. For example, nausea, dizziness, and vomiting could be symptoms of a skull fracture or brain injury suffered before, during, or right after delivery.
All babies may face some challenges, such as trouble sleeping, feeding, or unexplained crying. However, if this continues despite addressing the concerns, your doctor may want to run tests or observe the baby more closely to determine if it could be a sign of brain damage.
Baby Missing Developmental Milestones Can Be Sign of Birth Injury
Sometimes, there are no obvious signs or symptoms of brain damage—or no symptoms your doctor diagnoses—before the child reaches eight months to two years old. This age range is when many babies with a brain injury begin to miss developmental milestones.
This is also when most children receive a cerebral palsy diagnosis if they face this condition. Missing motor-related milestones, having unusual muscle stiffness or floppiness, or struggling with gross motor skills are often the first signs of cerebral palsy. Babies with vision problems or hearing loss may receive a diagnosis earlier especially if the concern is severe and they require glasses, hearing aids, cochlear implants, or other remedies to help them see or hear.
In some cases, there are no symptoms of brain damage when the child is a newborn, baby, or toddler. Instead, symptoms may appear in older children who struggle to keep up with their same-age peers or have other concerns in preschool, kindergarten, or early elementary school. These symptoms could include one or more of the following:
- Significant difficulty concentrating
- Memory difficulties
- Cognitive impairment
- Significant behavioral problems
- Difficulty with mood swings
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
- Relatively minor motor difficulties that were not previously diagnosed
Diagnosis of Cognition Issues Often Comes Much Later, Especially When the Issues Are Minor
Often, relatively minor issues involving intellectual disabilities and cognition issues go unnoticed until the child enters school and does not learn in the same way or as quickly as their peers.
When the brain damage affects them more, and they have a more severe impairment, the signs may be present much earlier. This means an earlier diagnosis and the opportunity for early intervention.
Children who struggle with speech or otherwise fail to meet the same cognitive milestones as their peers may require speech therapy, occupational therapy, and other interventions to give them the best opportunity to do well in school and keep up with their classmates.
Later on, those with moderate and severe impairments may require an individualized education program (IEP) and increased support at school.
Risk Factors for Intellectual Disability
A study from Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology that looked at how common intellectual disabilities were in children who suffered brain damage and cerebral palsy linked an increased risk of cognition issues with:
- Children who could not walk on their own (47% also had intellectual disabilities)
- Children who walked later (an average age of two years and seven months)
- Hypotonic or dyskinetic cerebral palsy
- A quadriplegic pattern of motor impairment
- Children who also had epilepsy
Overall, the study found that 45% of the participants in the study of children with cerebral palsy also have an intellectual disability.
Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at (800) 222-9529.
How Do You Diagnose Brain Damage in a Newborn?
Apgar assessments are no longer used to diagnose brain injury in a baby. According to a study submitted to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), it is important for doctors not to assume they have a full understanding of the baby’s health based only on their one-minute and five-minute Apgar scores. Instead, they encourage doctors to employ expanded Apgar assessments that include additional factors, such as observation, testing, and other means to identify any evidence of brain damage.
Doctors also often use the Glasgow Coma Scale to better understand a child’s health following a possible brain injury. The pediatric version of this scale has been in use for more than 30 years, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), the journal of the International Society for Pediatric Neurosurgery.
The Glasgow Coma Scale measures the neurological health of the child based primarily on their state of consciousness. In newborns and children younger than two years of age, this scale offers a score of between three and 15. The score is based on the baby’s response to different types of stimuli, such as opening their eyes, reflex responses, and other motor reactions.
If there is reason to believe your baby faced a brain injury and brain damage as a result, or there are other signs of a problem, the doctor should take additional steps to determine your child’s health status. This may include imaging tests, such as computerized tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. These scans can help the doctor identify a skull fracture, a brain hemorrhage, or other injuries.
However, according to research published in The Lancet Neurology, these scans are not always accurate for identifying brain damage. MRIs are generally between 60 and 85 percent accurate for this purpose. They also depend on the radiologist’s skill and judgment, which can vary widely from facility to facility. Doctors may use an electroencephalogram (EEG) to diagnose seizures and determine if there are other problems with the brain’s electrical wiring, which could indicate damage.
In many cases, the brain damage that occurs as a result of a birth injury does not get diagnosed when the child is an infant. Instead, the baby receives a diagnosis later, following observation for missed developmental milestones, testing for vision concerns, or failing a routine hearing test.
What Happens When a Baby Has Brain Damage?
When a baby suffers asphyxia or another issue, and brain injuries occur, brain cells become damaged or die. These babies may be born not breathing and require resuscitation. If there is evidence they experienced oxygen deprivation, they may require immediate treatment to reduce the risk or severity of a reperfusion injury, as well. Reperfusion injuries involve additional damage the brain can suffer when the flow of properly oxygenated blood returns.
If a baby has severe brain damage or an injury that affects their ability to breathe, they are more likely to be born not breathing or have indicators of a birth injury immediately after delivery. They may require immediate support or treatment to stabilize their vital signs, keep them breathing, and minimize any further injuries.
When a baby has brain damage, but it is not serious enough to cause life-threatening complications, it is not always obvious when they are born or during the first few months of life. It may not affect the areas of their brain that control life-sustaining functions or the damage may not be severe enough to cause serious symptoms. Some babies may have mild symptoms that get dismissed, such as trouble eating or excessive crying.
Seizure disorders, low vision, hearing loss, and some other concerns due to brain damage may present as symptoms after the baby leaves the hospital, during their first few months of life. Routine hearing and vision screenings may uncover a problem.
When brain damage does not cause immediate and obvious physical concerns, babies may only receive a diagnosis after a doctor or observant parents notice signs of brain damage later. This could include concerns about motor skills, balance, coordination, or other issues. For example, babies with cerebral palsy may be slow to develop skills such as rolling over, sitting up, crawling, standing, and walking.
Babies who suffered injuries to certain areas of their brain may struggle with more complex motor tasks, such as getting dressed, tying their shoes, and using a pencil or crayon. In some cases, it is only when they struggle with physical or cognitive tasks in school that their parents and teachers note a delay or disability.
Brain damage in an infant can also affect areas of their brain that cause mental, behavioral, and emotional developmental issues or delays. Depending on the severity and symptoms, the diagnosis of these conditions could occur at any time between a year to 18 months of age and early elementary school.
How Common Is Brain Damage in a Newborn?
Birth injuries and brain damage are the most common causes of death and disabilities in babies. While many babies do not suffer serious, life-long impairments, birth injuries that affect the brain are relatively common. According to research published in the Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology, one of the most common of these injuries is hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). HIE occurs when the infant does not receive an adequate supply of oxygen to their brain before, during, or after labor and delivery. While the numbers are not set in stone, this study reports the following:
- Between one and three babies of every 1,000 births receives this diagnosis.
- About 15 percent of babies with HIE do not survive the first 18 months of life, with many dying in the hours or days following birth.
- A rate of between 20 and 25% of babies who receive an HIE diagnosis and survive have a lifelong disability, suffering some type of permanent neurodevelopmental impairment.
Babies who are born prematurely also often face brain damage because of birth injuries or complications of prematurity. One out of every 10 babies is born before the beginning of the 38th week of pregnancy. Many are born much earlier. About 10 percent of these babies have cerebral palsy, and as many as 50 percent have another type of related brain injury, such as an intellectual disability or learning delay.
Babies may also suffer brain injuries because of numerous other complications during pregnancy, labor, or delivery. This makes these injuries even more common since there are many causes. It is difficult to put an estimate on how many babies suffer brain damage overall.
If you learn that your baby suffered brain damage or received a diagnosis related to neonatal brain damage, you should discuss their injuries and prognosis with the Birth Injury Lawyers Group. We provide complimentary case reviews for families facing these circumstances.
We can explain if your child was a victim of medical negligence and if you can take legal action against the medical care provider responsible for their injuries. Call (800) 222-9529 now to learn more.
What Complications Does Brain Damage Cause in a Baby?
The complications of your baby’s brain damage depend greatly on the affected areas of their brain, how severe their brain damage is, and how their injuries affect them based on other factors. There are many possible complications a child can experience as a result of brain damage, as children and throughout life. They include the following complications.
One of the earliest indicators of brain damage and a common complication for babies who suffer birth injuries is seizures. Babies who suffer brain damage to the areas of their brains that cause epilepsy may have their first seizure during the first few hours after birth. They may continue to have seizures of varying severity and varying frequency throughout their lives.
In some children, epilepsy is relatively easy to manage or causes very mild or infrequent seizures. Some children seem to grow out of it. Others require ongoing medication and monitoring and may require surgery in some cases.
Cerebral palsy is a leading cause of disability in children with brain damage from a birth injury. Cerebral palsy has varying effects on a child’s everyday life. For example, in 2008, 58.2 percent of children included in a study could walk independently without mobility aids, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). More than 11 percent used a handheld device such as a cane or a crutch, and 30.6 percent relied on a walker or wheelchair.
Many children living with cerebral palsy also had other medical concerns, according to the 2008 study. Most commonly, this included epilepsy, an intellectual disability, vision impairments, and autism. About 25 percent of these children have diagnoses that include cerebral palsy, intellectual disability, and epilepsy.
Vision and Hearing Loss
Both vision and hearing loss may occur as a result of brain damage. Children who experience a birth injury may face low vision or hearing damage of varying degrees. In some cases, eyeglasses, hearing aids, and cochlear implants will help the child gain the ability to see or hear better. In others, these devices may not help because the problem lies within the brain.
Your child’s treatment team should help you understand the cause of your child’s low vision or hearing loss and explore your options. The goal is to help them learn to maximize their abilities and overcome the challenges they face.
Developmental Delays and Disabilities
Developmental disabilities can affect a child’s life in many ways, including having a profound effect on their health and prognosis. They are chronic conditions that cause delays or disabilities, such as the following:
- Physical disabilities
- Cognitive disabilities
- Speech and language concerns
- Psychological concerns
- Behavioral concerns
- Self-care disabilities
According to research in JAMA Pediatrics, over 41% of children with developmental disabilities have more than one condition. This number varies based on the disability but includes 95.6% of children with an autism spectrum disorder and 43.3% for children with severe vision loss.
The most common co-occurring condition is a learning disability, which often occurs in conjunction with the following:
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
- Vision loss
- Cerebral palsy
- Hearing loss
Brain damage from a birth injury can affect almost any area of a baby’s life. Children may face challenges with their physical, social, intellectual, and behavioral development. It can cost them their mobility, independence, self-care abilities, and more.
Treatment, therapy, early intervention, special education, and ongoing support and care can help them manage their delays and impairments. Many can lead a relatively normal life alongside their peers.
Other Types of Birth Injuries
Oxygen deprivation is one of the most serious types of birth trauma that an infant can experience because of the long-term impact it can have on the brain and other systems. However, it is not the only type of injury.
StatPearls Publishing reports that, as of 2012, the birth trauma rate is approximately 1.9 for every 1,000 live births. Some of the most common types of injuries are:
- Fractures:if a doctor is having trouble delivering a baby’s shoulder or if it is breech in the birth canal, the baby may suffer a bone fracture, particularly a fractured clavicle or collarbone.
- Brachial plexus injury:a brachial plexus is a group of nerves near the neck that controls the shoulder, arm, and hand movement. Injury to the brachial plexus may occur in cases where the doctor has trouble delivering the infant’s shoulder, and the brachial plexus nerves are stretched or torn, causing a condition known as Erb’s palsy.
- Facial paralysis:in some deliveries, pressure on the baby’s face can damage facial nerves. This can also occur in cases where the doctor uses forceps to try to assist the mother with delivery. If the nerves are torn, it can cause permanent damage and may require surgical intervention.
- Bruising and temporary marks:sometimes, because of the trauma of passing through the birth canal or because of tools that the doctor uses, the baby may be born with bruising and temporary markings.
Common Brain Damage Injuries Caused by Excessive Pulling
Excessive pulling, improper pulling, and improper use of assistive birthing devices can cause birth injuries and brain damage in several ways. Some of the most concerning brain injuries that may occur include:
A subgaleal hemorrhage occurs just under the skin and above the periosteum, a membrane that covers the skull. A serious injury in this area can cause significant blood loss, leading to shock. A blood transfusion may be necessary, so a prompt diagnosis is imperative.
This injury occurs most commonly when the doctor uses forceps or a vacuum extractor device to pull the baby from the birth canal.
Excessive pulling or use of assistive birth devices can cause skull fractures in the infant. A skull fracture that pushes into the brain can lead to direct trauma or cause swelling that leads to brain damage. Most skull fractures are not serious and heal on their own, but they require close monitoring to ensure they do not cause complications.
Intracranial hemorrhage is bleeding in and around the newborn’s brain. It is the most serious brain injury because of excessive or improper pulling. Intracranial hemorrhages occur because of physical trauma to the baby’s head or may also occur for other reasons, including:
- A condition that decreases the level of blood or oxygen to the child’s brain
- A serious blood clotting problem
- Rarely, unknown causes
In general, most infants who have brain damage from excessive pulling do not have any immediate symptoms of brain bleed or another injury. In other cases, a depressed skull fracture is apparent. Symptoms of a significant injury may include:
- Poor feeding habits
If your newborn has any of these symptoms, or if your older infant or child fails to meet developmental milestones, you may want to discuss your child’s difficult delivery and the possibility of a brain injury with a trusted doctor.
Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at (800) 222-9529 if your baby suffered any of these injuries due to medical negligence.
What Treatment Is There for Brain Damage in a Newborn?
Children who are born not breathing, with irregular breathing, or with a slow breathing rate may require immediate help, including resuscitation and breathing support. This could include clearing the airway, providing rescue breaths, ventilator support, supplemental oxygen, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Medication, fluids, and other treatments may also be necessary to stabilize the baby’s heart rate and other vital signs.
Hypothermic treatment is the only approved treatment for a baby who experienced birth asphyxia or other types of oxygen deprivation. If the baby receives an HIE diagnosis or the doctor suspects oxygen deprivation, they can prescribe induced hypothermia. This treatment lowers the baby’s body temperature significantly, allowing their body functions to slow. Doing so can slow reperfusion injuries and possibly stop the previous damage from becoming worse.
Babies will need to remain in a hypothermic state for up to 72 hours before being slowly warmed. They will likely remain sedated during this process so they will not experience pain or other unwelcome sensations.
According to the medical journal Early Human Development, therapeutic hypothermia can help encourage a positive outcome in babies who experienced a brain injury in several ways. It can lead to:
- An increased chance of survival
- Improved neurological outcomes
- A decreased risk of developmental disabilities and delays
However, this treatment cannot reverse or prevent all negative outcomes related to a brain injury. According to a study published in Expert Review of Obstetrics & Gynecology, more than 40 percent of babies who receive hypothermic therapy still pass away or suffer a lasting impairment because of the brain damage they suffered. This is, however, an improvement over outcomes for babies who do not receive the treatment.
Once a baby’s complications and medical conditions are known, treatment focuses on managing their symptoms and improving their abilities and prognosis. This may include medication, surgery, therapies, and other types of support. Your child’s medical care team will put a plan in place for treatment and management based on their diagnosis and needs.
Doctors often prescribe the following therapies for children with birth injuries and brain damage:
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Speech and language therapy
- Recreational therapy
In addition, children diagnosed as babies or toddlers may qualify for early intervention services. These are state-sponsored services that help children with certain special needs prepare for school. If necessary, they will likely also qualify for special education services once they reach kindergarten. All children with diagnosed special needs should qualify for an Individualized Education Program (IEP) in school.
Infant Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
If they were the victim of a birth injury with the potential to cause brain damage, your infant might be treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy. During this therapy, your baby’s lungs will absorb a higher-than-normal amount of oxygen. This occurs because the air in a hyperbaric chamber is 100 percent oxygen, while room air is only 21 percent oxygen.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is used by physicians and medical specialists to treat birth injuries like brain damage, bell’s palsy, and cerebral palsy. The therapy is performed with infants lying on a table that slides into the hyperbaric chamber, and the pure oxygen sessions can last from one to two hours.
How Can You Prevent Brain Damage in a Newborn?
In some cases, brain damage in a newborn may not be preventable. However, many of the birth injuries babies suffer occur or become worse because of medical negligence. When a doctor, another medical care professional, or the medical facility allows negligence to occur, it can cause a birth injury or fail to prevent your child’s brain damage.
If you believe your child suffered brain damage because of a doctor’s negligence, you may be able to work with a brain damage birth injury lawyer to hold the liable parties accountable. The Birth Injury Lawyers Group will discuss your child’s injuries with you for free and help you understand if anything could have prevented the brain damage your newborn suffered. If so, you may be able to hold the doctor or hospital responsible. Call us today at (800) 222-9529.
When a complication occurs that is not foreseeable or preventable, it is imperative that the doctor overseeing the delivery of the baby recognizes the problem and takes action immediately. They must limit how long the baby goes without oxygen to prevent brain damage and damage to other vital organs. This may require an emergency surgical delivery or other actions to deliver and resuscitate the baby as soon as possible.
Once the baby is born, they must undergo an assessment to determine their immediate needs. This could include treatment to stabilize the baby and provide life-saving or life-sustaining care. If they did experience a possible brain injury, hypothermia therapy should begin as soon as possible to prevent and limit the damage.
How Long Will It Take for My Baby to Recover from Brain Damage?
Some children will recover from the brain damage they sustain as newborns, but many will not. In children who seemingly recover, they generally overcome the challenges they face thanks to therapy and support, as well as management of their symptoms. In effect, they adapt and learn to live with their disabilities and delays. While this is not a true recovery because the damage to their brain never heals, they generally can live a full and independent life.
Some babies never recover enough to live independently or provide for their own self-care needs. This depends greatly on the following:
- The severity of the baby’s brain damage
- The areas of the brain affected
- The child’s complications or medical conditions
- Co-occurring conditions that make it more difficult to adapt
Children who suffer from brain damage may experience learning delays and disabilities, behavioral concerns, and other diagnoses that make it more difficult for them to keep up with their school peers. They may require services for children with special needs and extra support at home and school.
If diagnosed early enough, children with brain damage birth injuries may benefit from early intervention programs. These programs help children prepare for kindergarten with their same-age peers and teach them age-appropriate self-care and basic skills.
What Evidence Do I Need to File a Brain Damage Birth Injury Claim?
To file a brain damage birth injury claim, you will need to have a strong case to show that the doctor or another liable party caused your child’s birth injuries and brain damage. Proving this without being a doctor yourself may seem impossible, but this is why most states require a medical expert to testify in your case.
Each state has its own laws about the role of a medical expert in proving your claim and how to gather and present this information in your case. The medical expert will review the facts of the case and determine if they believe malpractice occurred. What happens next, though, depends on your state’s laws. Some states allow your attorney to confirm that the expert said you have a viable case. Others require a signed affidavit from the expert stating the case has merit based on their review of the medical records and other evidence.
Your brain damage birth injury lawyer will help you identify a medical expert who meets the qualifications in your state. They will work with the expert to review your child’s medical records and other necessary documents and get a good idea about the strength of your case. Your attorney can then move forward with gathering the necessary evidence to file a brain injury claim in your jurisdiction.
The medical expert will also help in other ways, including answering questions about your child and their condition, helping the judge and jury understand the medical aspects of the case, explaining your child’s possible future care needs, and much more.
To learn more or get started today, call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at (800) 222-9529.
How Can a Lawyer Help with a Brain Damage Birth Injury Claim?
Most brain damage birth injury lawyers and medical malpractice law firms will review these cases for free. They handle cases based on contingency fees, as well. This means that the families of children who experienced birth injuries pay nothing out of pocket for their legal representation.
The attorney collects their fees only after they secure a settlement or another financial recovery for the family. They take the fees as a percentage of the payout, never directly from the family.
In addition to representing your family and managing your child’s birth injury claim, your attorney will be able to protect your rights and handle all aspects of your case. This includes assigning liability to the at-fault parties and building a case to hold them responsible.
Building a case requires identifying and calling in a medical expert witness and obtaining all available medical records and other evidence. Your lawyer will also document your family’s losses and put a just settlement value on your case based on your recoverable damages. In many brain damage birth injury cases, recoverable damages include the following:
- Current and future medical care and treatment costs
- Ongoing care and support costs
- Mobility devices, hearing aids, eyeglasses, and other support devices
- Out-of-pocket expenses related to your child’s diagnosis and care
- Pain and suffering your child experienced
- Mental anguish
- Other tangible and intangible damages
Once your attorney has a strong case to hold the liable parties accountable, they will present the evidence in the form of a claim or a civil suit in court. They will represent your family to the doctor, hospital, legal team, insurance company, and in front of the judge.
How Is Negligence Proven in a Brain Damage Birth Injury Claim?
At the heart of many medical malpractice cases is an act of medical negligence. In a birth injury brain damage case, negligence occurs on the part of one or more of the following:
- A doctor or team of doctors
- Another skilled medical care professional
- The hospital, clinic, or another medical facility, and its administration
There are four factors necessary to prove that medical negligence occurred in a brain damage birth injury case, which are:
- The liable party had an obligation to take specific action to keep the baby safe or limit their injuries.
- The liable party failed to uphold their duty and did not provide an acceptable standard of care.
- Their failure led to your baby’s birth injury or more severe brain damage.
- Your child suffered physical injuries, and your family endured financial losses.
To determine if all four of these factors are true, you must first understand what a trained and responsible doctor would have done when facing your baby’s complications or delivery. To this end, your brain damage birth injury lawyer will enlist the help of a medical expert to help you and the court understand the acceptable standard of care.
The expert will be able to explain what happened to cause your child’s brain damage and what the doctor and other care professionals should have done based on the acceptable standard of care.
There is also other evidence available in these cases. This will vary from case to case but almost always includes medical records pertaining to your child’s delivery and diagnoses, other medical documentation, and proof of your family’s expenses and losses.
Your legal representation will play a crucial role in this process, so you want to work closely with a brain damage birth injury lawyer.
Brain Damage Lawsuits
If your child suffers cognition issues, behavioral issues, or an intellectual disability because of a birth injury, you may be eligible to hold the doctor or hospital liable. This is possible if the doctor committed a medical error, failed to prevent a preventable traumatic brain injury, or acted negligently. This commonly occurs when the doctor:
- Fails to adequately monitor the mother and baby before, during, and after birth
- Delays or misses a diagnosis, allowing the condition to worsen
- Fails to provide an acceptable standard of care
- Does not treat the child’s birth complications promptly
- Uses an improper technique or incorrect protocol during delivery and cause injuries
If you believe you may have a viable birth injury case based on your child’s brain damage and cognition issues, you should discuss your case with an attorney who practices medical malpractice and takes on birth injury cases in your state. The rules for pursuing this type of case vary by state. Most birth injury attorneys offer free case reviews and initial consultations.
Your attorney will know what it takes to prove a birth injury case in your area, including working with medical experts to understand:
- The acceptable standard of care based on the facts of your case
- If your doctor acted negligently
- How your doctor caused or contributed to your child’s brain damage
- Your child’s prognosis, possible ongoing care and future medical needs, and other information about their diagnosis and care
Your attorney can attempt to negotiate an out-of-court settlement or take the case to court.
Speak with a Team Member about Your Child’s Brain Injury Today
If your child experienced brain damage as a result of a problem just before, during, or after birth, you may have a case to hold the doctor or hospital responsible. Your family could recover a financial payout to help provide for your child’s medical care and support. You can learn your legal options, ask questions, and get help today. Reach out to the Birth Injury Lawyers Group for a free case consultation and review.
We know what it takes to prove medical malpractice. We can determine the strength of your case during this complimentary case evaluation and offer guidance based on the facts available.
Our team members will help you understand your rights as the parent of a victim of medical malpractice. With help from a brain damage birth injury lawyer, you may be able to build a claim and challenge the hospital, doctor, or another responsible party. We understand the laws in your state and can analyze how they apply specifically in your case.
Call (800) 222-9529 today to get started. We have a team member available now to discuss your child’s injuries and prognosis with you for free.
Infant Brain Damage Frequently Asked Questions
Below are a few frequently asked questions about infant brain damage and how the condition affects a child’s cognitive development. Answers to other related topics appear here, as well.
How Can Birth Trauma Affect a Child’s Brain Development?
Oxygen supply is vital to brain health. If an infant experiences oxygen deprivation during labor and delivery due to asphyxiation, it can cause serious health problems, including impacts on their brain development.
One such outcome of this type of trauma is the development of a permanent, lifelong brain injury called cerebral palsy, a group of disorders that affects muscle tone, posture, and movement.
What Kind of Cognition Issues Are Likely in Newborns Who Have Suffered Brain Damage?
The cognition issues faced by newborns who suffer brain damage because of a birth injury vary widely, from very mild learning disabilities to severe impairment that prevents independent living. While cerebral palsy is thought of as a motor disorder, many children also suffer cognition issues and intellectual deficits, although they often go undiagnosed until the child reaches school age.
While the brain damage that causes cerebral palsy is also a common cause of cognitive impairment, many children with cerebral palsy do not have any intellectual impairment, and many have above-average intelligence.
How Can I File a Claim if My Child Suffered Brain Damage from Excessive Pulling?
If you believe your child suffered brain damage because of excessive or improper pulling during delivery, you may be able to pursue damages through a claim against the doctor who delivered him or the hospital where he was born. Read on to learn more about how to file a claim if your child suffered brain damage from excessive pulling.
The best way to learn more about your legal options is to discuss the details of his birth, brain injury, and lasting impairments with a birth injury lawyer in your state. Attorneys who regularly practice medical malpractice law and handle birth injury cases near you will be able to explain the strength of your case, the steps required in your state, and other rules that will apply to pursuing this type of claim.
How Difficult Deliveries Can Lead to Brain Injuries When Doctors Act Recklessly
Many brain injuries from excessive pulling occur when a doctor fails to order a Cesarean delivery (C-section) when one may be necessary or when doctors use improper techniques during difficult deliveries.
In general, vaginal deliveries when the baby is extremely large or the mother is particularly petite come with an increased risk of injury. If it appears the baby weighs 10 to 11 pounds or more, the doctor may need to consider a C-section. This is also true if the baby remains in an abnormal position in the uterus in the hours before birth.
C-Sections Greatly Reduce the Risk of Brain Injuries During Some Deliveries
Today, the risks related to Cesarean deliveries are relatively low and are the best option for many mothers and babies who are at an increased risk for a difficult delivery. If a doctor tries to deliver a large baby with an abnormal presentation vaginally, they may need to use forceps or a vacuum extraction tool to pull the child from the womb. This increases the risk of birth injuries even more.
Infant Brain Damage News
Father Caught in Lies About Shaking His Three-Week-Old Daughter
Infant brain damage can happen at birth, but it can also happen due to abuse. Sometimes a parent cannot handle the stresses of new parenthood and snap. We have an example of such a case in the UK today, as Devon Live reports.
A father has been told he will go to jail after slamming his three-week-old daughter’s head against a kitchen counter and then lying about it.
Robin Bearman was getting up to feed the child at 6 a.m. and felt a flash of frustration at the crying. He shook the baby and caused two skull fractures and brain bleeding. Fortunately, the baby was able to get to the ICU in time and has made a good recovery in the two years since the attack.
Initially, Bearman told his wife that he banged the baby’s head while opening a cupboard. But then doctors told his wife that could not be true given the injuries. Then he lied again, saying he dropped the baby, and she hit her head on his knee. The truth came out after three specialists testified in Family Court that the injuries needed more force than a drop.
The father admitted to the injuries. Since the incident, the mother of the child has divorced the father.
Government Settles Navy Doctor Malpractice Case for $11.5 Million
Armed Services personnel have to go through a lot of hoops to sue the government when something goes wrong. But for one family who was stationed in Guam, everything went right. The Virginian-Pilot has the story.
Five years ago, a sailor gave birth to a baby boy who had severe and permanent brain damage. Now the family will receive $11.5 million dollars for the accident.
At the time the water broke, the baby’s heart rate was normal, but it was discovered that fetal stool was present in the water. Twenty hours later, the baby was born “floppy and non-vigorous,” a sign that there was a problem with getting enough oxygen.
The doctor tried to resuscitate the child, but the preferred tool had fallen behind the bed. Rather than get the proper tool, he used a bulb to try to suck out the problem. It took 11 minutes for the doctors to clear the blockage.
A later MRI showed profound brain injury caused by a lack of oxygen. The lawsuit claims that had the baby been properly taken care of, none of the neurological damage would have happened.
The parents will each receive $1 million, the lawyers around 20% of the total, and the rest will go into a trust fund that will be structured so that the child will not run out of money for the remainder of his life.
Illinois Mother Sues Hospital After Baby Dies from Traumatic Brain Injury
An Illinois mother is suing a hospital under that state’s wrongful death and survival statutes. The Madison Record has the story.
The mother filed suit against Anderson Hospital in Maryville and its parent company. The baby in question died nine days after birth due to a catastrophic brain injury. The suit claims that the staff negligently and carelessly failed to recognize the signs and symptoms of a uterine rupture and did not notify a physician.
Under the Wrongful Death Act, the mother is eligible for more than $75,000 due to the type of injury that happened to her child. The suit claims that the family is now deprived of the baby’s love and companionship and that they are facing expenses related to the medical care and funeral care for the baby and mother. They also claim that the baby faced pain and mental anguish during its short life.
The hospital has refused to comment due to the pending litigation.
The news story does not have all of the details regarding the injury. Those will come out during court. The plaintiff will have to prove that the lack of treatment for the uterine tear caused the baby’s injury and that the staff ignored the symptoms. If she can do that, she likely has a good chance of winning this case.
Infant Killed When Angry Parent Punches Him to Death
We have a heartbreaking case of child abuse on a two-month-old that happened in Wisconsin. A man has been arrested and charged with first-degree reckless homicide for the death of the baby.
The man, 21-year-old Kenta Evans, is being blamed. CBS 7 reports that he went to the mother’s house in June to see the baby. He then started to accuse the mother of seeing other men.
He got angry and broke the mother’s cell phone. While they were fighting, she picked up the baby and told Kenta that he had to leave. That’s when he started to punch the mother with his fists while she was holding the baby.
A family member saw what was happening and stopped the fight, but it was too late. The baby was bleeding from the mouth, had difficulty breathing, and had multiple knots on his head. He was taken to the hospital where he died.
Evans has admitted to the fight and to punching the baby. His bail was set at $200,000.
While most birth injury cases are between a family and a medical professional, there are instances where a family member could be the one sued if they cause life-long trauma to a defenseless infant. No amount of money can bring a child back to life, but we hope that the mother is able to receive justice.
Mother Sentenced to 35 Years for Killing Her Infant
An unborn child depends on the mother’s nutrition to survive. If they decide to consume drugs, they can pass them to the unborn baby and cause lasting damage. If illegal drugs are detected in a baby, it can lead to the state taking the child away.
Unfortunately, in this case, the child was killed by the mother before the state could get to her in time. NWITimes reports.
A woman has been sentenced to 35 years in prison as part of a plea agreement after she killed her infant daughter in 2019. She pleaded guilty to aggravated battery.
During the autopsy, both old and new bruises were found, as well as brain bleeds and a quarter-sized fracture in the skull. Death was determined to be caused by blunt force trauma.
A few months prior, the state had been authorized to take the newborn child away from the mother because the baby tested positive for cocaine at birth. However, the state was unable to find the mother or baby before the fatal incident.
The mother also has mental health issues, according to the report. These played a factor in the plea agreement. She must serve at least 75% of the sentence. It is unknown what will happen to her other children, but the judge said that it may be better for them given the facts of the matter.
Oregon Father Pleads Guilty for Abusing His Infant Son
Birth injury lawsuits are not just pursued against hospitals and doctors. Sometimes it’s family members who cause the injuries. You can sue them in court as well, even if they are facing criminal charges like in this case.
A Coos County man pled guilty to manslaughter, assault, and criminal mistreatment after he injured his four-month-old son in 2015. KCBY reported on that story. When the baby was taken to the ER, doctors said he had extensive and severe brain injuries. There were also old and new brain bleeding, eye bleeding, and a rib fracture that was healing.
The baby was not able to recover and fell into a vegetative state. Due to the baby’s circumstances, he was placed into foster care. The baby was adopted by the foster family in 2017 and died a few months later.
Despite knowing abuse had happened, charges were not pursued back in 2015 when the incident happened. At the time of the abuse, they could only charge the father for assault. Given the baby’s condition, they knew he had a high probability of death in the near future due to the abuse. Thus, they waited for the baby’s passing so they could charge the father with manslaughter.
The mother was also indicted for criminal mischief for failing to give the child proper medical care.
New Research May Lead to Treatment for Brain Injury in Premature Babies
Babies born before 37 weeks have a high likelihood of brain injuries. New research has found a possible reason why this happens. Babygaga has the story.
It turns out that part of the immune system can attack a baby’s brain if those cells become inflamed. The cells are called microglia. This inflammation can be caused by infections before or after delivery, including chorioamnionitis.
When these cells become inflamed, they attack the white matter of the brain. The researchers have discovered the signaling pathway that makes this change happen. It is a gene called Wnt that is responsible for the switch. When the cells are inflamed, this gene does not activate as much as it should.
Scientists have found this switch in several animals through testing and through observation in premature babies. Now that they know the pathway, researchers will start looking for possible treatments. They believe that a treatment for this may be developed in five to seven years.
We are encouraged by these results. Premature babies are prone to a host of birth injuries. Anything that can be done to improve the outcomes of premature birth will improve the quality of life for the baby. We look forward to hearing more about this research.
New Study Shows that Even Mild Oxygen Deficits Can Damage Newborns
A new study from University College Cork in Ireland says that even mild oxygen deprivation at birth can cause neurological damage. EchoLive.ie reported on the study.
The study looked at a condition called hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), a type of brain injury caused by a lack of oxygen. This can cause permanent brain damage and cerebral palsy.
The study looked at infants born in Cork and Stockholm with HIE. 407 children were studied. They found that a significant number of children with mild HIE have impaired cognition that can cause learning or behavioral difficulties.
The treatment for severe HIE is therapeutic hypothermia, sometimes known as cooling therapy. It can improve outcomes if it is used within six hours of birth. The study recommends that this treatment should be used for mild cases as well.
Currently, therapeutic hypothermia is the only known treatment for HIE, but there have been no studies done on using this therapy for mild HIE. The researchers say that a large study is now needed to see which therapies, including cooling therapy, can best help children born with mild HIE.
The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. We hope that the researchers can secure funding to run the study so doctors will have better guidance for treating mild HIE.
New Study to Test Non-Invasive Way for Checking Fetal Oxygen
A new research project may provide doctors better information about birth oxygen levels and prevent unnecessary C-sections that can cause damage, according to MedicalXpress.
One of the reasons doctors perform emergency C-sections is when a baby’s heart rate becomes abnormal. However, in as many as 60% of cases, those abnormalities were not serious. They were just responses to the stress of labor.
The real danger of an abnormal heartbeat is that it can be a sign that there is not enough oxygen. This can cause brain damage. There are two other techniques that can prove whether or not a baby is oxygenated. The current gold standard is to take a little blood from the scalp of the fetus and check the pH. However, despite its status, it takes time to get results, and there are questions about validity and reliability.
Another test, called fetal scalp stimulation, is faster, less invasive, and can be used in emergency situations. However, it has not been tested whether or not this technique works as well or better than blood sampling.
This is what the researchers hope to find out. They will perform a multi-hospital randomized controlled trial to see how the two techniques stack up. If FSS proves itself, it can help save lives and prevent unnecessary surgeries.
Six Signs of Infant Brain Damage
You might have a feeling that something is wrong with your child, but it can be frustrating to get doctors to take you seriously. What are the signs that they look for that mean something is serious so you can look out for them? Healio describes six symptoms that could be danger signs of infant brain damage.
The post focuses on problems related to the eyes and sensory development. Parents are much more likely to notice problems with the eyes since they see their children’s eyes more often. The signs to look for include:
- Abnormal pupils or pupil response
- Does not or cannot maintain eye contact for at least a few seconds
- Does not show effort in touching or reaching for interesting things
- Does not direct their eyes toward something stimulating, like your voice or a toy
- Only reacts when something is presented on one side.
- Cannot track a stimulus with their eyes.
Doctors recommend that babies get eye exams sometime between 6-12 months old to check for these issues, but if you notice them earlier then bring them to the attention of a doctor. Be careful not to confuse signs of sleepiness or hunger with these symptoms. Test your baby when they are happy and full. The sooner you can catch a possible issue, the better.
Study Shows Why Seizures in Babies Can Have Life-Long Effects
One of the symptoms of infant brain damage is seizures. A lack of oxygen and blood flow can lead to seizures and deaths in newborns. One trouble with this symptom is that a child with minor seizures may seem normal after they get treatment but then later have behavioral and learning problems once they get to school. EurekAlert reported on new research that brings new insights into this problem.
A UVA researcher, Jennifer Burnsed, MD, has done research into this problem and suggests that it is the brain’s learning and memory centers that are the most affected by a seizure in a baby. She mapped the brains of mice to see which areas are affected most by seizures. They plan to run learning and memory tests on these mice to see if they have trouble with these compared to mice who did not grow up with seizures.
The hope is that through better mapping and imaging of the brains and confirming a link, doctors will be able to come up with new treatments for infant brain damage that will reduce or prevent these challenges in older children. The research done so far has been published in the journal Annals of Neurology.
The Moro Reflex May Be Scary, But It Is a Sign of Health
There is a particular reflex that babies have called the Moro reflex. If you lay a baby on their back, they will throw their hands out to the side, draw them in, and start crying. The reflex usually goes away at around five months of age. An article on Fatherly talks about the reflex and why it’s important for health.
It is thought to be a response against abandonment so that parents do not forget them. Even babies with very damaged brains will still have this reflex. Doctors love to test for it as a sign of a healthy brain. If a baby does not do the reflex or only does it on one side, that’s a problem.
A lack of the Moro reflex can be a sign of an injury to the brachial plexus or a sign of infant brain damage, hemorrhage, birth asphyxia, and cerebral palsy. It is also a problem if the reflex lasts past six months of age. That can be a sign of drug withdrawal from maternal drug use during pregnancy.
If your baby has it too often, you can try swaddling your child. It helps babies feel they are held right and helps them stay asleep. However, be sure to follow correct swaddling practices. If you are uncomfortable with swaddling, lay your baby’s head down extra gently when you put them to sleep.
The Right Environment Can Heal a Child’s Brain
A study on mice may point the way to new recommendations on how much stimulus to give to premature babies who were born without enough oxygen for their development. EurekaAlert reported on the study.
It is known that too much stimulation for a premature baby will cause them too much stress. The current recommendation is to provide a quiet environment. However, there have been studies about this practice that show that treatment in private family rooms created lower language and motor scores.
That led the researchers to wonder just how much stimulation is needed to help a baby’s brain heal without overwhelming it. Using an experimental model with mice, they raised some in different environments then tested their ability to climb a narrow beam. Those raised with social stimulation, different objects, and a running wheel did much better than those just provided with food, water, and nesting material.
Further experiments showed that all three components needed to be present for improved development. The mice needed exercise, socialization, and cognitive stimulation. These also needed to be present for long enough and early enough to have the effect.
More research is needed, but this points to a promising way to help children born with brain damage due to a lack of oxygen to help minimize the amount of lasting damage.
Toddler Still Suffering After Foul Ball Hit Her Head
Taking a child to their first major sporting event is exciting, but it can also lead to tragedies if they are in the wrong place at the wrong time or there isn’t enough protection. A story published by Yahoo! talks about this.
In May, a toddler was struck in the head with a foul ball during a game between the Houston Astros and the Chicago Cubs. That child is still being treated for the brain injury and skull fracture she received.
Because of the injury, she has to take anti-seizure medication. The injury is likely to be permanent and has been described as stroke-like. So far, no legal action has been taken against the team or the stadium.
During the incident, the child was sitting in her grandfather’s lap near the edge of the third-base netting. The ball went over the safety netting and hit the child.
This incident, along with other foul ball injuries, has pushed several MLB teams to extend the netting. The commissioner has stated that all teams will have extended nets for the 2020 season.
Since 2012, 800 people have been injured by foul balls, and there has been at least one death. Players are glad about the safety changes. We hope that they are effective and prevent future accidents.
Boy Recovering After Successful Surgery for Craniosynostosis
Craniosynostosis is a rare birth defect that can cause brain damage and misshapen heads and faces in babies. But it can be corrected if caught in time. Fox 29 reported on a story of a 23-month-old who underwent successful surgery for this condition.
The boy’s mother posted a video showing her son taking steps with the help of a nurse at a hospital in Burlington. She wanted to raise awareness of her son’s condition.
Craniosynostosis happens in about 1 in 2000 births. When babies are born, the skull plates are not fused together yet. This gives the head and brain room to expand before they close. In babies with the condition, the plates are already fused.
Untreated craniosynostosis can cause pressure to build up inside of the skull and cause brain damage. It can also cause the bones of the head and face to deform. If it is caught in time, it is fairly easy to correct with surgery due to the softness of the bones. However, because it is so rare, pediatricians may not check for the condition.
In this case, the baby had to undergo a full cranial vault surgery to restructure the head. Fortunately, recovery was quick, and the child was back home in just four days.
For more information on this condition, please visit Columbia University’s website.
Ibuprofen May Help Small Babies Avoid Damage According to New Study
More research has found that controlling inflammation may be key to reducing the risks of infant brain damage and cerebral palsy. Mirage News reports on a new study done by the University of Queensland.
The researchers wanted to help babies that were born smaller than average. When a baby does not grow at the normal rate in the womb, learning and behavior difficulties may occur that are not noticeable until school age. In extreme cases, cerebral palsy can develop.
The researchers found that certain cells in the brains of small children were damaged and that the cause was inflammation. So, the researchers wanted to know if using an anti-inflammatory medication would help. After birth, they gave small babies low doses of ibuprofen for three days.
They were able to prove that inflammation was reduced in the affected areas and that there was less damage. The drug is already used to treat some heart conditions in premature babies.
The next step is to find the best method of using this treatment to treat newborn brain injuries. Eventually, they want to run international trials. However, they also warned that parents should not administer ibuprofen to babies without medical supervision.
We hope that this discovery will lead to safe treatments for inflammation in the brains of newborns and reduce the number of birth injuries.
The Birth Injury Lawyers Group May Be Able to Help You
If you believe that your infant’s birth trauma was caused by a health care provider’s negligence, the Birth Injury Lawyers Group may be able to help you pursue compensation in settlement negotiations or a medical malpractice lawsuit. Our investigation into your child’s injuries may utilize medical expert testimony to explain how birth trauma affected your child’s brain development and contributed to their injuries.
Keep in mind that each state has a statute of limitations, or legal time limit, for filing medical malpractice lawsuits. There may also be rules that extend the general deadlines for cases such as birth injuries where the victim is a child.