The birth of a child is a joyous occasion for many new parents. They get to look forward to raising their child and nurturing them into a fully grown adult, as well as all of the fun and sometimes difficult things that come with raising a child. However, sometimes, it may appear that something is not quite right with a newborn baby or infant. While babies do indeed scream and cry a lot for many understandable reasons, like being tired or hungry, it may be that some behavior in infants is cause for serious medical concern. Some behavior is indicative of a brain bleed – a serious medical condition that needs immediate medical attention.
If you believe that your baby has a brain bleed and that a medical professional or someone else is at fault, our lawyers can help. Let us handle the legwork of going over your situation, collecting evidence, and fighting the legal side of this battle for you so that you can focus on what matters most.
For help with your case, call our Maryland birth injury lawyers with Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 to get a free case review.
What is a Brain Bleeds?
A brain bleed is exactly what it sounds like: it is an internal hemorrhage somewhere in or around the brain. Doctors break down brain bleeds into two main categories that are based on where they are located around the brain.
Bleeds Around the Brain
The first category of brain bleeds encompasses bleeds that happen inside of the skull but outside of the actual brain. The three types of bleeds in this category are epidural bleeds, which happen in the outermost layer of the membrane between the skull and brain, subdural bleeds, which happen slightly closer to the brain, and subarachnoid bleeds, which are brain bleeds that happen the closes to the brain. All of these bleeds, while potentially less serious than the ones we are about to discuss, are still medical emergencies that require immediate attention.
Bleeds Inside the Brain
Bleeds inside the brain involve the brain tissue itself. They are, in general, much more serious than bleeds that occur outside the brain tissue. There are two main kinds of bleeds inside the brain: intracerebral hemorrhages, which occur in any of the brain lobes, cerebellum, brainstem, or other brain tissue, and intraventricular hemorrhages, which happen in the cavities that store brain fluid.
Signs and Symptoms of Brain Bleeds in Babies
When a brain hemorrhage happens in a baby, there are certain signs and symptoms to look out for. It is important for medical professionals to notice these symptoms right away and take action, or permanent damage may be done.
High-pitched screaming may seem like something that is common among infants. However, it can be a symptom of a hemorrhage.
If an infant’s reflexes or reactions are noticeably slower than they should be, this can be a sign of a hemorrhage or another form of brain damage. Additionally, brain damage can be indicated by excessive weakness or lethargy. For example, a common potential sign of a brain hemorrhage in a newborn is strange or abnormal eye movements. Medical professionals need to notice these things so that they can provide appropriate care to your child.
If an infant has a pale or blue color, also called cyanosis, it may be an indication of a brain bleed.
Swelling/ Soft Spots on Head
Another, possibly more noticeable sign of a brain bleed in an infant is soft spots or swelling on the baby’s head. If a medical professional observes this, they should immediately start taking action.
How Brain Bleeds Happen in Newborns and Other Infants
Brain bleeding can happen in newborns and babies for many different reasons. Premature babies, in particular, are vulnerable to brain bleeds because their circulatory system is not as developed, although they can also happen in babies that are born on time or later than the expected term.
Another risk-increasing factor for hemorrhages in a newborn baby is the use of birth-assisting equipment such as forceps or a vacuum. In instances where these tools are used, doctors should be made aware that they were in fact used, and the newborn should be closely monitored for any indication of a brain hemorrhage. Finally, brain hemorrhages in infants can happen when a doctor applies too much physical force during the delivery process.
Can You Sue if Your Baby Has a Brain Bleed?
You may be able to file a lawsuit if your baby has a brain bleed. However, it will heavily depend on the medical circumstances. The type of lawsuit you will be filing is called a medical malpractice lawsuit. A medical malpractice lawsuit basically alleges that a medical professional did something negligent and that negligence caused your injury or, in this case, an injury to your baby in the form of a brain bleed.
Depending on the circumstances surrounding the medical treatment of your child, you may be able to generate a claim against a medical professional. However, you do need to show, with the help of our Baltimore brain injury lawyers, that a medical professional was negligent somewhere along the line. A particularly difficult birth, for example, is not enough on its own to impart negligence. However, if a medical professional did not provide adequate care or accommodations for that particular difficult birth, it is possible that they were negligent. Other examples of negligence during birth would be improper use of forceps, vacuums, or other birth-assisting equipment or missing key symptoms of a brain hemorrhage in the newborn infant.
Talk With Our Birth Injury Lawyers Today
Rice, Murtha & Psoras’s Baltimore birth injury lawyers are ready to help you with your case when you call us at the number (410) 694-7291.