Signs of Brain Damage in a Baby & What to do About it
Brain damage because of negligence is appalling to begin with. But when that damage happens to an innocent newborn, it can be especially hard to bear.
August 2018 was a devastating time for the Kromphardt family, for that reason exactly.
Baby Kromphardt faced fetal distress during birth and was not receiving enough oxygen. Usually, this would warrant most OBGYNs to perform a cesarean delivery to quickly get the baby out of distress and into the world.
But the doctor at Mercy Hospital in Iowa continued with a vaginal delivery, including the use of forceps. While trying to pull the baby out, the doctor applied too much pressure and fractured the baby’s skull. This caused brain damage in the baby. And ischemic brain injury, seizures, and facial nerve palsy. And a skull fracture with subdural hemorrhage.
Consequently, the Kromphardt family must live with lifelong medical care expenses. They have to care for a child that may never live a normal, healthy life. All because of the negligence of a doctor. Read the full story here.
If you believe your child suffered brain damage due to malpractice, speak to a lawyer. The experts at Hampton & King can help you determine if you have a case. Contact us today. If you’re not sure your child suffered a brain injury, read on to learn about the signs of brain damage in babies.
Early Signs Of Brain Damage in a Baby
Do you suspect some sort of brain injury occured during your child’s birth?
Here are early signs of brain damage in babies you could look for:
- Unaligned/misshaped spinal cord
- Overly large forehead
- Unusually small head size
- Distorted/abnormal facial features
- Inability to focus the eyes
- Neck stiffness
Early signs of brain damage in babies can also include abnormal behavioral patterns:
- Feeding problems
- Intense crying that seems more excessive than other babies
- Inability to sleep on back
It’s important to note that these symptoms don’t automatically mean your child has brian damage. However, if you’ve noticed one or more of the above symptoms, seek medical attention.
Signs Of Brain Damage In Babies To Watch Out For Later
Sometimes, signs and symptoms of brain damage may not surface right away. There have been instances where the results of brain damage are not diagnosed until past toddler years, or even into a child’s teenage years.
Here are some signs that may show up in children with brain damage in later years:
- Difficulty walking
- Difficulty completing daily tasks
- Problems with speech
- Problems with vision
- Lack of fine motor skills
- Overall developmental delays
- Lack of muscle control
- Memory problems
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Issues sleeping
- Muscular weakness
How Does It Occur?
The number one cause of brain injury in babies is a lack of oxygen. But how does oxygen deprivation occur in the first place? There are a variety of medical complications and injury that can lead to brain damage in babies.
Here are a few of them:
- Prolonged labor. When a mother has been laboring for a long time, the baby can sometimes get stuck in the birth canal. A baby can also react to a stressful labor in a way where the heart rate drops and there is oxygen deprivation.
- Umbilical cord issues. Perhaps the cord is twisted around the baby’s neck.
- Placental abruption
- Maternal infections
A baby’s brain can also be damaged from:
- Physical injury sustained while exiting the birth canal (this can often happen with excessive use of forceps)
- Viral/bacterial infections
Consequences Of Brain Damage In Babies
Some cases of infant brain damage may be mild and treatable – they may not result in lifelong injuries. However, brain damage in babies can also be severe and permanent.
It’s a good idea to look out for the early signs of brain damage in babies discussed above. This will allow you to seek medical attention right away and get answers (and hopefully treatment) right away.
One of the results of brain damage in babies may be cerebral palsy. This can cause physical impairments and disabilities for the rest of the child’s life.
Brain damage in babies can also result in:
- behavioral issues
- developmental delays
- physical abnormalities
How Medical Malpractice Plays A Role In Brain Damage
There are so many things we cannot control. Certain injuries and conditions occur randomly. But so many babies suffer from unnecessary brain damage. Babies that could’ve lived a completely normal life, if the doctor had done the right thing.
Examples of medical malpractice that can cause brain damage in babies:
- Not performing a c-section on time
- Excessive use of forceps/vacuum during birth
- Prescribing the wrong medication during pregnancy
- Administering the wrong medication during labor and delivery
- Use of defective medical tools
If your child sustained brain damage due to the negligence of a medical professional, know that you have options. The attorneys at Hampton & King can help. We have experience representing families who dealt with birth injuries. Contact us for a free, no-hassle consultation and see how you can be compensated.