How Can I Tell When My Newborn Has Brain Damage?
Each year, millions of new parents bring home babies from the hospital. Most of these parents will have a joyous experience that will be treasured for the rest of their lives. In some tragic cases, however, new parents discover that their child has sustained serious brain damage during the birthing process.
At Brown & Barron, LLC, our Baltimore birth injury lawyers are passionate about advocating for the rights of newborn babies and their parents. If a negligent medical professional was responsible for causing neonatal brain damage, you may be eligible for compensation to pay for the medical treatments.
But what are the signs of newborn brain damage, and how can you tell when it happens to your child?
Signs of Infant Brain Damage
It’s estimated that out of every 1,000 infants born in the United States, up to 8 of them may experience a serious birth injury as a result of negligence. Because the CDC reports up to 3.8 million births in the United States each year, it’s likely that more than 30,000 children suffer from a birth injury in any given year.
The majority of serious birth injuries involve some degree of brain damage, as the delicate head of a newborn can easily become bruised, distended, or otherwise traumatized during birth, without the proper care of a skilled obstetrician. By using inappropriate obstetric tools or failing to notice life-threatening situations during childbirth, your medical provider may ultimately be accountable for causing that trauma.
Here are the most common indicators that your newborn may have sustained some degree of brain damage:
- Abnormally shaped or sized head
- Difficulty with latching or feeding
- Stiffness of motion or limb paralysis
- Exceptionally long or large forehead
- Facial paralysis
- Eye and vision problems
- Bruising and forcep marks, particularly on the head
Depending on the specific symptoms, your infant could have sustained any number of brain injuries. If there was a lack of oxygen to the brain during birth, either due to incorrect positioning or negligent use of forceps, your baby could develop a long-term neurological disorder like cerebral palsy or cephalohematoma – which will in turn affect the rest of their life. Skull fractures are also common birth injuries, and can cause localized damage to specific portions of the brain, impairing memory, movement, or cognitive development.
Holding Negligent Care Providers Accountable
The scope of your newborn’s brain damage may vary, but one thing is clear: Every child deserves to have a chance at a full and happy life, and receive the best medical treatment for their injuries. Whether suffering from a lifetime developmental disorder or dealing with long-term paralysis, your child may need significant therapy and medical treatments after brain damage, all of which can be prohibitively expensive.
When you work with our experienced birth injury lawyers, we can not only help you determine whether you have a case – we can fight on your behalf to get the compensation you need and deserve. Many infant brain injuries are caused by an attending physician’s carelessness, and when it happens to your family, you could be eligible for damages under the law.
Need to speak with our skilled birth injury team? Contact Brown & Barron, LLC at (410) 698-1717 for more information.