Preventable brain injuries caused during birth can turn one of life’s most joyous events into tragedy. With proper medical care and rehabilitation, some children can fully recover, but for too many infants, birth brain injury leads to life-long disability or even death.
Primary underlying causes of birth brain injury
Birth brain injuries can be the result of many circumstances and errors. In most cases, one or more of the three following elements are involved:
- Lack of oxygen – called anoxia, can occur in many ways including the umbilical cord getting wrapped around the baby’s neck, inappropriate medications, and allowing the baby to remain in the birth canal too long, among others.
- Head trauma – usually caused by improper use of delivery instruments. When used improperly, vacuum extractors and forceps can cause serious injuries and bleeding of the brain.
- Infection of mother or baby during pregnancy – damage is caused by baby’s inflammatory response.
Medical errors which commonly cause birth brain injuries
Properly monitoring and responding to conditions and warning signs in both the mother and baby can prevent most brain birth injuries. Medical errors during pregnancy, delivery, and immediately after birth can easily and quickly result in brain injuries.
Common errors include:
- Inappropriate medications during pregnancy or delivery
- Failure to diagnose and treat medical problems in the mother
- Failure to monitor fetus and respond to fetal distress
- Failure to perform a timely c-section
- Improper use of delivery instruments
- Failure to give oxygen to newborns when needed
- Failure to diagnose and respond to infection in newborns
Birth brain injuries include:
Many babies born with brain injuries die as newborns or in childhood. Those who survive may suffer from a variety of problems including:
- Cerebral palsy
- Mental retardation
- Impaired learning
- Impaired motor skills
- Behavioral problems
The future of a baby born with brain injuries depends on early detection and proper treatment. Rehabilitation and special education can help some children move on to live a normal, independent life. Others will require life-long, 24 hour supervision and care, either at home or in an institution.
Most birth brain injuries are preventable. If your child has been injured through medical error you may be entitled to compensation including:
- Current and future medical bills
- Special education
- Special equipment
- Lost earnings due to one or both parents staying at home to care for the child
- Long-term care
- Pain and suffering
- Burial expenses
In addition to the tremendous emotional and physical hardships involved, caring for a child with brain injuries can be financially devastating. Receiving the compensation you need and deserve may be the only way to provide proper care for your child.