“Brain damage has resulted/is possible” is a terrifying phrase to hear, especially if you’ve just given birth to a new life. If you’re told that your child may have brain damage due to delivery complications, it’s important that you find out how it happened and why. It’s possible that medical professionals made mistakes that led to your child’s injury. If you can’t seem to get a straight answer, you can seek legal guidance. A Philadelphia birth injury lawyer from Shrager & Sachs can help you with your claim.
We understand that a personal injury claim is probably the furthest thing from your mind during a situation like this; however, your claim could cover medical expenses, future care for your child, and pain and suffering. You’ll also be sending a clear message to the hospital that what happened isn’t acceptable, and they should prevent further negligence to other families like yours.
How Does Brain Damage in Infants Occur?
When a doctor or other medical professional is negligent in providing care for the mother during her pregnancy or during the delivery process, the baby can suffer from birth injuries that puts their brain at risk. The following are ways that a newborn may have brain damage:
- Oxygen Deprivation. Lack of oxygen can cause brain damage. A baby could be deprived of oxygen if the birthing process is traumatic. Issues like a prolapsed umbilical cord, getting wedged in the mother’s pelvic bone or shoulder dystocia, or medication taken by the mother could prevent a baby from getting enough oxygen.
- Physical Injury. Injuries that occur during labor due to medical malpractice, like misusing delivery instruments, can lead to brain damage.
- Jaundice. Newborns may have jaundice, which is evident if their skin is yellow because of a chemical called bilirubin. Their livers are supposed to remove this chemical, but they may not be able to if they’re not fully developed.
- Infection. If the mother had an infection during their pregnancy or the baby contracted an infection, they may have brain damage.
Medical professionals are supposed to provide care that keeps your baby safe and healthy. Failing to do this harms your child and will affect the rest of their lives. At Shrager & Sachs, we believe that they should be held accountable. We’ll investigate your case, find the cause of your child’s injury, and help you fight on their behalf to get justice.
Infant Brain Damage Symptoms
There are a few presenting symptoms that may indicate a newborn has brain damage. Doctors should be able to recognize these symptoms.
- Prolonged, High-Pitched Crying. It’s normal for babies to cry after birth. But if they persist to cry for a long time, there’s a chance there’s something wrong.
- Refusing to Eat. Babies not wanting to eat is atypical behavior and should stand out to doctors and parents.
- Abnormal Appearance. Brain damage may cause physical traits such as small skulls, some facial deformations like large foreheads, and deformed spines.
- Issues Focusing. Babies with brain damage may not seem to be able to focus their eyes.
- Slower Development. Brain damage can delay milestones in a baby’s development. They may be behind in smiling, rolling over, and crawling. It’s important to remember, however, that healthy babies don’t always follow regular development schedules.
If your child seems to be late in developing or is showing some signs of infant brain damage, you should get in touch with a doctor immediately. You should also consider contacting a birth injury lawyer from Shrager & Sachs because your baby’s brain damage could be the result of medical malpractice during delivery.
Injuries that Cause Brain Damage in Babies
When infants get brain damage, their lives can change forever. The disabilities or conditions that occur because of brain damage can limit a person’s mobility and cognition. They may require ongoing treatment or physical therapy. When kids are growing up, they may need special education that takes their condition into account.
Some brain damage-inducing injuries include:
- Cerebral Palsy. Oxygen deprivation can severely affect the brain and the infant can get cerebral palsy. This disorder can affect their motor skills, ability to speak, and may also cause intellectual disabilities.
- Kernicterus. If jaundice is left undetected and untreated, the baby can develop a condition that causes brain damage. Untreated jaundice can progress to kernicterus, a condition where the high bilirubin levels in the blood affect the brain. Babies with kernicterus can develop athetoid cerebral palsy, hearing loss, and issues with vision.
The care required to provide your child with a high quality of life can be expensive. You can rest assured that your birth injury lawyer in Philadelphia is doing everything possible to get you a fair settlement so you will be able to afford these expenses for your child.
Hospitals may try to protect negligent doctors or nurses that caused your baby’s brain damage, but we won’t let your case get ignored. People naturally trust medical care providers, and those that cause harm need to be held responsible. Shrager & Sachs will be at your side every step of the way to answer your questions, address concerns, and support you through this difficult time.
If you believe your baby’s brain damage was a result of a birth injury, get in touch with us today and schedule a consultation. We’ll review your case and discuss your options, so you can choose what’s best for your family.