The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that not only is hemorrhagic disease rare in newborns, but it is also preventable and treatable. Now that you can breathe a little, here are some statistics regarding the commonality of hemorrhagic disease in newborns:
- 1 in 25,000 infants experience hemorrhagic disease between two weeks and six months of age
- 1 in 60 newborns experience hemorrhagic disease within 24 hours of birth
- 1 in 250 babies experience hemorrhagic disease up to seven days after birth
It is common for medical specialists to treat babies with a shot to protect them immediately following birth. While many birth injuries are a result of medical malpractice, hemorrhagic disease is typically caused by a vitamin deficiency.
Our legal firm specializes in birth injuries and will be sharing what hemorrhagic disease is, what causes it, the treatment options, and if legal action is suitable for you. Learn more.
- Defining Hemorrhagic Disease in Newborns
- What Causes Hemorrhagic Disease or VKDB in Newborns?
- How Will I Know If My Baby Has VKDB?
- What Factors Increase the Risk of Hemorrhagic Disease Infants?
- What Treatment Option is Available for My Newborn?
- Are There Any Long-Term Effects of Hemorrhagic Disease in Newborns?
- Can I Sue for My Baby Having Hemorrhagic Disease?
- What Type of Lawyer Should I Hire To Represent My Newborn’s Injuries?
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Excessive bleeding is called hemorrhaging. A rare form of postpartum bleeding that may be found in newborns is hemorrhagic disease, also known as vitamin K deficiency bleeding, or VKDB for short.
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Some newborns have insufficient stocks of vitamin K in their bodies because it is not effectively transferred from mother to child during pregnancy. Since vitamin K is needed to form blood clots, babies suffering from this deficiency may experience severe bleeding issues anywhere from 24 hours to 6 months after birth. Common causes why a baby’s vitamin K is low include:
- Inefficient amounts of vitamin K passes through the placenta to the newborn
- Breast milk only has small amounts of vitamin K and a newborn’s stomach has to build up to producing it after feeding
- While pregnant, the mother was on a medication that placed the baby at a higher risk for experiencing hemorrhagic disease
Before a significant bleeding event happens, a child with VKDB may exhibit mild symptoms of “failure to thrive.” These signs consist of warning bleeding, which can seem inconsequential, low weight for your baby’s age, or a very slow weight gain.
It is critical to look for signs of warning bleeding in one or more places like:
- Their gastrointestinal tract
- Their umbilical stump where their cord was cut
- The mucous membranes of their nose and mouth
- Their penis after circumcision
- Any places they’ve received shots
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Remember, the chances of your newborn having hemorrhagic disease are low, but depending on if it is early, traditional, or late VKDB, there are different risk factors for infants.
Within the first 24 hours following delivery, early-onset VKDB starts to manifest. It is more likely to manifest in your child if specific drugs were in use while they were carrying them and interfered with the metabolism of vitamin K, such as certain blood-thinning pharmaceuticals, anti-seizure drugs, or anti-tuberculosis treatments.
Traditional-onset and late VKDB typically affect newborns who did not receive the shot for vitamin K at birth during the first week following delivery. If your infant is solely breastfed, their risk of developing it is increased.
Blood-clotting tests will be carried out if your baby’s doctor suspects they have VKDB. Your infant will receive a dose of vitamin K1. If the newborn’s bleeding stops, the doctor can confirm that hemorrhagic disease caused by vitamin K deficiency is to blame.
If your baby is found to have VKDB, the doctor will decide on a specific course of action. If your infant is bleeding severely, blood transfusions might be necessary.
Infants who experience hemorrhagic disease later than a week after birth is at a higher risk of a cerebral hemorrhage. For newborns with early-onset or traditional-onset VKDB signs, the prognosis is favorable.
If your infant has been diagnosed with a birth injury caused by hemorrhagic disease, medical malpractice may have played a role in their suffering. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the birth injury, you may be eligible to receive both economic and non-economic damages following a successful birth injury claim.
For claims of birth injury, reliable evidence is essential. A birth injury lawyer will assemble proof showing that medical malpractice caused your newborn’s hemorrhagic condition. A neonatal hemorrhagic disease attorney can advise you on the kinds of proof that are necessary to boost your chances of receiving compensation for your losses in a birth accident settlement.
If your birth injury claim is successful, you may be eligible for damages, such as:
- Medical costs
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
- Emotional and Mental illness
- Trauma-related disorders like PTSD
- Current, past, and future medical interventions
Contact our firm for help today.