Baby's head particularly susceptible to birth injuries
While most Texas parents are probably not medical professionals, many still understand that any injury to the head is likely to be more dangerous than other types of injuries. The head and brain are very delicate parts of the body and, unlike injuries to an arm or a leg, such an injury has the potential to harm a person not only physically, but mentally. A brain injury that occurs during birth has the potential to merit long-term care, as this type of injury can sometimes cause permanent disability.
Unfortunately, many of the most common - and most potentially devastating - types of birth injuries are those that affect a baby's head. During a normal delivery process, the baby's head is usually the first part of its body to enter the birth canal. This means that the head area will experience a great deal of pressure during delivery. Typically, the swelling or bruising that occurs goes away shortly after birth. At times, a cephalohematoma, which is a gathering of blood below the periosteum, will occur. Fortunately, this condition usually doesn't require treatment and goes away on its own.
However, there are many ways in which a baby's head can sustain more than the usual bruising and swelling during birth. While rare, skull fractures do occur during the birth process, but sometimes can be prevented through the appropriate use of a Caesarean section delivery. Both the delivery process, as well as insufficient oxygen, can cause the bones around a baby's skull to become deformed; this, in turn, can cause bleeding in the areas around the brain. Bleeding in the brain is more common during a premature delivery.
Unfortunately, there are several areas in and around the skull of a baby in which bleeding can occur. A subarachnoid hemorrhage takes place below one of the brain-covering membranes. A subdural hemorrhage, which happens between the dual layers of brain coverings, is especially dangerous because it can later lead to seizures. Other types of hemorrhages occur in the brain's ventricles or sometimes in the tissues of the brain itself.
It is very important that a newborn who has experienced any sort of bleeding in the brain receive adequate and timely treatment. A baby who has suffered a subdural hemorrhage, for instance, often requires the delicate care of a surgeon afterwards. Still, because many parents aren't entirely sure what happened to their child during delivery, the process of proper care following a birth injury can be confusing and overwhelming. An experienced birth injury attorney can outline a family's options after an adverse birth event.