For every family, the birth of a new baby is a special and memorable time and more so to the parents of the newborn. However, not all childbirths are successful as things may go wrong during pregnancy or the birth. Some of the causes of newborn deaths are due to medical negligence or due to uncontrollable causes. Infant brain damage is a common condition that affects millions of babies worldwide. It is devastating for the entire family especially if it is due to medical negligence. In a situation where brain damage could have been controlled with possible safety precautions, the parents of the baby can file a medical malpractice lawsuit and seek compensation.
With the increased cases of infant brain damage, it is worthwhile to understand what brain damage is, its causes, symptoms and possible treatments before you seek any legal actions.
What is Brain Damage?
Brain damage is generally the collapse or destruction of brain cells. Brain injuries may occur due to many internal and external causes. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when the baby suffers a head trauma due to outside causes. Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) happens after childbirth due to disorders or congenital conditions.
Identified Causes of Infant Brain Damage
Many parents will not understand why their fragile and new baby could go through such pain at a tender age or depart this life just after birth. It is important to know the main causes of infant brain damage prior to seeking any legal assistance if you suspect foul play during childbirth. Brain damage at childbirth can be as a result of a number of things;
Birth asphyxia (Oxygen Deprivation)
A baby’s brain can be damaged if it is deprived of oxygen. This typically happens when the infant is not able to breathe on its own, leading to permanent damage to the brain cells. Conditions such as autism, cerebral palsy, impaired vision or attention deficit hyperactivity may also arise. Oxygen deprivation may be caused by:
- Umbilical cord problems,
- Constricted air passage,
- If the mother has high blood pressure,
- The placenta separating too early from the uterus,
- The baby has anemia at birth or
- The baby was stuck in the birth duct during delivery.
Fortunately, if the doctor is thorough enough in monitoring and treating fetal discomfort, these issues may be prevented.
Infections in the mother
Infections such as herpes, venereal warts, cystitis, pyelonephritis, varicella, syphilis and rubella may lead to newborn brain injury. Maternal preeclampsia can also lead to brain damage at childbirth. Infants birthed by mothers with maternal infections may also suffer from cognitive disorders, childhood epilepsy and schizophrenia.
Many premature babies experience jaundice, a yellowish staining of an infant’s eyes and skin. This is a condition caused by increased amount of bilirubin, a yellow pigment in the newborn’s red blood cells. If the baby is not treated properly and immediately once the condition is detected, bilirubin levels will rise leading to kernicterus, a brain injury manifested by high fever, fatigue and an odd backache.
Babies are at a high risk of experiencing brain damage during the birth procedure and more so, if they are born prematurely. Many mistakes can be made during labor and delivery, leading to brain injury. Wrong use of birth-aiding tools such as forceps on the baby’s head or rushed delivery that includes excessive twisting and pulling may lead to physical head injury.
Noticeable Signs and Symptoms of Brain Damage in Infants
Many new and young parents will not detect infant brain damage at childbirth. Majority are overwhelmed by the joy of seeing their newborn for the first time and fail to notice any unusual appearance or disorder in the infant. There are signs and symptoms associated with infant brain damage, but they will vary in accord to how the brain injury occurred. The first signs of infant brain damage can be identified by looking at the newborn’s appearance.
Other detectable symptoms of brain injury at childbirth include seizures, abnormally large forehead, distorted facial features, neck stiffness and complications in hearing or focusing the eyes. Other signs of infant brain damage are excessive crying, sleeping disorder and difficulties with feeding. It is not easy to diagnosis infant brain damage, but a MRI and CT head scan can help ascertain infant appearance symptoms. Infant brain damage prognosis will depend on the severity of the damage and how well the victim responds to treatment and therapy.
Filing a Brain Damage Lawsuit-What You Have To Do
If your infant suffered brain damage due to medical negligence by any of the medical practitioners, it is your right to seek legal assistance. Filing a brain damage lawsuit presents the best way to win compensation for your expenses and losses. With a brain damage lawsuit, you will be able to seek compensation for medical costs, physical and emotional pain and trauma, punitive damages, specialized equipment costs, special education help costs and in-home care expenses.
For your infant brain damage compensation lawsuit to be successful and valid, you must have a valid brain injury lawsuit and a basic legal statement that provides a medical negligence suit. Your case should show that the defendant was neglectful in his or her undertakings, which consequently led to your child’s injuries. State law at all times will protect its citizens and you should not feel powerless to seek legal action. With help of the best medical negligence lawyer in Providence, you can rebuild the life of your affected child.
The medical malpractice lawyer you choose for your compensation claim will determine the outcome. To be on the winning side, go for a lawyer who has successfully handled many medical malpractices cases before. They should be able to work hard and ensure you get compensation. A qualified and experienced lawyer will ensure that you understand what the case demands and maintain good communication all through.
Most of the genuine lawyers work on a contingency fee basis so you should not worry about their legal fees. Your lawyer will take a percentage of your compensation. If you have the best lawyer for your malpractice lawsuit, he or she will investigate the incident, determine fault, evaluate the case and arrange expert medical testimony to ascertain what went wrong during childbirth. Your lawyer will also deal with insurance companies, draft a convincing case in court, and fight on your behalf and child successfully.