Skip To Content
Free consultation Text or call 312.553.4900

Think Your Child Has a Birth-Related Brain Injury? Here’s What to Do

November 20, 2023  ·  By HM&M

TAGS: , , , ,

The birth of a child is a moment of joy and anticipation for any family. However, when complications arise during the delivery process, it can lead to serious consequences, including birth-related brain injuries. These injuries can have a lasting impact on a child’s life, affecting their physical, cognitive, and emotional development. If you suspect that your child has suffered a birth-related brain injury, it’s crucial to take immediate action to ensure they receive the necessary care and support.

To help, we detail the symptoms of birth-related brain injuries and the steps you should take as a victim.

Institutional Negligence Related to Birth-Related Brain Injuries

Birth-related brain injuries, often referred to as birth-related hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy or neonatal brain injuries, can result from various complications, errors, or instances of negligence during the labor and delivery process. These injuries are typically associated with a lack of oxygen or inadequate blood flow to the baby’s brain. Here are some factors that may contribute to birth-related brain injuries:

  • Failure to monitor fetal heart rate: Failure to detect signs of fetal distress, such as a non-reassuring heart rate, can lead to delayed intervention and increased risk of brain injury.
  • Delayed or inappropriate emergency Cesarean section: When signs of fetal distress are present, a timely C-section can be crucial to preventing brain injury. Delayed or improperly performed C-sections may contribute to hypoxia and ischemia.
  • Umbilical cord issues: Complications such as umbilical cord compression, prolapse, or entanglement can restrict blood flow and oxygen to the baby’s brain.
  • Placental abruption: A separation of the placenta from the uterine wall can lead to decreased oxygen and nutrient supply to the baby, resulting in brain injury.
  • Improper use of assisted delivery tools: Improper use of forceps or vacuum extractors during delivery can cause trauma to the baby’s head, leading to brain injuries.
  • Maternal infections: Certain infections in the mother, if left untreated, can lead to complications that affect the baby’s brain development.
  • Medication errors: Incorrect administration or dosage of medications during labor and delivery can impact the baby’s well-being, including the risk of brain injury.
  • Maternal health conditions: Unmanaged maternal health conditions, such as preeclampsia or diabetes, can contribute to complications affecting fetal well-being.
  • Mismanagement of high-risk pregnancies: In cases where the pregnancy is identified as high-risk, failure to manage and monitor the pregnancy appropriately can increase the risk of birth-related brain injuries.
  • Inadequate neonatal resuscitation: If a baby requires resuscitation after birth, the failure to perform it promptly and effectively may lead to brain injury.
  • Inadequate training or experience: Healthcare providers lacking proper training or experience may make errors during delivery that contribute to brain injuries.
  • Lack of communication among healthcare providers: Poor communication among the medical team can lead to delayed responses to signs of distress or other complications.

Birth-related brain injuries can have long-lasting and severe consequences, including developmental delays, cerebral palsy, and other neurological impairments. In cases where negligence or medical malpractice is suspected, legal consultation may be sought to determine if there are grounds for pursuing a medical malpractice claim.

Recognizing the Symptoms of a Birth-Related Brain Injury

Birth-related brain injuries can manifest in various ways, and the symptoms may not be immediately apparent. Some common signs include:

  • Seizures: Seizures are a common and often early sign of a birth-related brain injury. These seizures can vary in severity, from subtle twitching or eye fluttering to more pronounced convulsions. The presence of seizures may indicate abnormal brain activity and potential injury.
  • Difficulty with movement: Children with birth-related brain injuries may display difficulty with movement, posture, and balance. This may mean your baby has a condition like cerebral palsy, which affects muscle control and coordination.
  • Developmental delays: Birth-related brain injuries can lead to significant developmental delays. Children may experience difficulties in reaching key developmental milestones such as sitting up, crawling, walking, and talking. These delays can affect their overall physical and cognitive development.
  • Feeding difficulties: Infants with brain injuries may struggle with feeding. This can result from difficulties with sucking, swallowing, or coordinating their oral muscles. Feeding issues can lead to poor weight gain and even failure to thrive, a condition where an infant doesn’t gain weight as expected.
  • Behavioral issues: As children with birth-related brain injuries grow, they may exhibit behavioral challenges. These can include hyperactivity, impulsivity, and difficulties with social interactions. Children may also have difficulty managing their emotions, which can lead to mood swings and frustration.
  • Intellectual disabilities: Brain injuries can impact a child’s intellectual abilities, leading to learning difficulties and reduced academic performance. These children may struggle with tasks that involve problem-solving, reasoning, memory, and other cognitive functions.
  • Communication difficulties: Birth-related brain injuries can affect a child’s ability to communicate effectively. This may manifest as speech and language delays, making it challenging for them to express themselves and understand others.
  • Hearing or visual impairments: Some birth-related brain injuries can lead to severe visual or hearing impairments. These sensory deficits can further impact a child’s development and quality of life.

If you observe any of these symptoms or suspect a birth-related brain injury, it’s essential to seek medical attention immediately. Early diagnosis and intervention can make a significant difference in your child’s long-term outcome.

>>> Related read: Common Birth Injuries—And What To Do About Them

What to Do if Your Child Has a Birth-Related Brain Injury

When a child suffers a birth-related brain injury, it’s important to understand that it might have been preventable. Medical errors or negligence during pregnancy, labor, or delivery can lead to these injuries. In such cases, seeking legal representation can be crucial in pursuing justice, securing financial support for your child’s long-term care, and holding those responsible accountable.

It’s also important to note that in some cases, birth-related brain injuries may appear later in life. In fact, a doctor or parent may not recognize the signs of cerebral palsy until later in life. Even then, it’s not too late to seek help. An experienced birth injury attorney can help you investigate the circumstances surrounding your child’s birth injury, consult with medical experts, negotiate with the medical professionals or healthcare facilities involved, and file a lawsuit to help you get the compensation you and your family deserve.

Birth injury cases can be legally complex and emotionally demanding, and having a dedicated attorney by your side can be the key to achieving justice, financial support, and accountability.

Fight for Justice for Your Child with a Birth-Related Brain Injury

Caring for your child with a birth-related brain injury is a full-time job, and it can be challenging to juggle the financial and emotional toll it can take on your family. Our team has decades of experience fighting for families in the same situation as you, including the Clark family and Hill family, and we would be honored to get justice for you, too. If you’d like to learn more, contact us today for a free consultation and a member of our team will get back to you shortly.

Plus, download our free ebook, “How to Support a Child After a Birth Injury,” for top resources on caring for your child with a birth injury. This resource also lists top support groups, de-mystifies medical jargon, and explains how to know when it’s time to seek justice through legal action.

New call-to-action

November 20, 2023

Hurley McKenna & Mertz Files 12 More Lawsuits Against OB-GYN Vernon Cannon and DuPage Medical Group

On Aug. 31, Hurley McKenna & Mertz (HMM) filed an additional 12 misconduct lawsuits against OB-GYN Vernon Cannon and his former employer DuPage Medical Group, now Duly Health & Care. These new lawsuits accuse Cannon of performing exams while intoxicated and acting inappropriately during exams. They accuse DuPage of negligence. The lawsuits include: Borkowski v.... Read More

November 20, 2023

BSA Bankruptcy Update - How You Can Help HMM Support Your Claim

This post is directed to current clients of Hurley McKenna & Mertz P.C. who have made claims in the Boy Scout bankruptcy proceeding.  We believe that the strength of your BSA abuse claim will depend on supporting your claim with proof that you and your abuser were connected to Scouting.  Boy Scout troop rosters listing... Read More

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.