Infant brain hemorrhages are commonly caused by severe head injuries, blood flow issues, infections, a lack of oxygen, premature birth, and more.
Ultimately, there are various types of brain hemorrhages, and the exact causes of intracranial hemorrhages in newborns are not fully understood by modern medicine.
When considering what birth injuries cause brain hemorrhages in infants, you must first understand the common risk factors.
According to Stanford Children’s Health, common causes of birth-related brain hemorrhages include:
- Traumatic head injuries, sometimes caused by forceps or umbilical entanglement
- Birth complications, including prolonged deliveries or breech births
- Infections that are passed from mother to child
- Issues with the mother’s blood pressure
- Pre-term babies (the smaller the child, the higher their risk of serious complications)
- Extremely low birth rates, somewhere below 3 pounds and 5 ounces
- Complications from blood clots
- Infants who have been subjected to excessive shaking
- Children suffering from respiratory issues
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What are Intracranial Hemorrhages?
At a base level, the Cleveland Clinic describes intracranial hemorrhages as a bleed inside the skull – which is where the condition gets its name. Ultimately, intracranial hemorrhages are divided into two main categories: bleeding inside the brain tissues and bleeding that solely occurs inside the skull, bypassing the brain.
Bleeding outside of the brain tissue is categorized based on the affected area. Ultimately, any bleeding that pools outside of the brain can lead to fatal complications if the condition is left untreated.
These hemorrhages include:
- Subdural hemorrhages: Bleeding between the arachnoid membrane and the dura mater. Severe cases can lead to comas, dangerous amounts of pressure on the brain, and seizures.
- Epidural hemorrhages: Bleeding between the dura mater and the skull bone, potentially leading to seizures, loss of vision, and irreversible brain damage.
- Subarachnoid hemorrhages: Bleeding between the pia mater and the arachnoid membrane that may cause permanent brain damage.
When bleeding occurs within the brain tissue, hemorrhages are divided into two additional categories: intracerebral hemorrhages (bleeds within the actual brain tissue) and intraventricular hemorrhages (bleeds in the brain’s ventricles). Both conditions can be equally dangerous.
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What Are the Degrees of Intraventricular Hemorrhages?
Research from Stanford Children’s Health describes four levels of severity for intraventricular hemorrhages, including:
- Grade One: The bleeding is confined to a small area of the ventricles.
- Grade Two: Similar to grade one, the bleeding continues to affect the ventricles.
- Grade Three: The bleeding worsens, causing the ventricles to swell.
- Grade Four: The bleeding spreads to the surrounding brain tissues.
The higher the number, the more serious the condition is. While the first two grades are the most common, often resulting in minor side effects, the third and fourth grades are the most dangerous. If an infant is suffering from an untreated grade three or four intraventricular hemorrhage, they may be afflicted with irreversible brain damage.
It is critical that you seek medical attention if you think your child is displaying brain hemorrhage symptoms. Early intervention often prevents the condition from worsening or spreading to other areas of the body.
What are the Long-Term Side Effects of Infant Brain Hemorrhages?
The Cleveland Clinic lists the following as common effects:
- Severe head pain
- Seizures, which may lead to certain forms of epilepsy
- Physical, mental, and psychological impairments
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing, or eating in general
- Loss of motor functions
- Paralysis, commonly occurring in the face or one side of the body
- An inability to comprehend words, including an inability to communicate (speaking or writing) and an inability to process language (reading or listening)
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Birth Injury Lawyers Fighting for Brain Hemorrhage Victims
When examining what birth injuries cause brain hemorrhages in infants, you may be suffering through unimaginable heartache and confusion. Here at the Birth Injury Lawyers Group, our attorneys are dedicated to serving victims of medical negligence.
Our firm has represented countless birth injury victims throughout the country, and we continue to stand up to injustice whenever and wherever we see it. If you retain an attorney at our firm, we can be there to represent your case from start to finish.
Above all else, we hope our services can bring you some much-needed peace of mind. We will fight to bring the negligent parties to justice so you can continue on your road to recovery.
If you wish to take legal action, you should keep in mind that medical malpractice claims are subject to different laws and restrictions in different states.
To learn more about your legal options, contact a representative at the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at (800) 222-9529 to receive your free consultation.