Brain Damage Attorneys
Traumatic brain injuries are serious and debilitating injuries that often result from trauma to the head. Although many victims suffer these injuries in an array of accidents, one of the most devastating reasons for brain damage is the negligent actions of medical professionals. In fact, out of every 1,000 births, between one and three results in brain damage, like encephalopathy. This debilitating condition is marked by impaired levels of consciousness, problems breathing, depressed reflexes, and seizure disorders.
When children experience brain damage due to the negligence of medical professionals, they often require immediate and long-term medical treatment. Many children with brain damage have to undergo surgery to correct brain bleeds and a number of other injuries. Regardless of the type of injury, a child suffers from, they are often left with debilitating injuries that require costly medical treatment. When children are harmed as a result of negligent medical professionals, it is imperative that their families reach out to a brain damage attorney as soon as possible to get the justice they deserve.
Our attorneys at The Medical Negligence Group have extensive experience fighting to protect the legal rights of families after their children suffer painful and irreversible injuries at the hands of negligent medical professionals. Our team provides aggressive legal representation to ensure families are able to maximize their recoveries so their children can receive the medical treatment necessary for their injuries. Contact our traumatic brain injury attorneys as soon as possible to explore legal options available for you.
Signs and Symptoms of Brain Injuries in Babies
When doctors diagnose babies as having brain injuries, like neonatal encephalopathy, it means that the baby suffered some type of damage to the brain or spinal cord. Children are typically diagnosed with having neonatal encephalopathy of prematurity if they are late preterm babies who suffer brain injuries. When doctors suspect that a child has a neonatal brain injury, they will order an array of tests to take pictures of the baby’s brain in order to diagnose the condition. In some cases, babies exert an array of signs and symptoms that indicate a brain injury has occurred. Some of the signs of a brain injury in newborns may include, but are not limited to:
- Having a low Apgar score for more than five minutes
- Having an abnormal umbilical cord blood gas
- Having a weak or an absent cry at delivery
- Not breathing immediately after birth
- Needing to be resuscitated
- Having an abnormal level of consciousness
- Being easily irritable, lethargic, or hyper-alert
- Having abnormalities in the reflexes or muscle tone
- Having hypotonia or hypertonia
- Having apnea
- Experiencing seizures within the first 24 to 48 hours of birth
- Having problems feeding
- Having difficulties breathing
- Experiencing a fever
- Having low blood pressure
- Having a high or low blood sugar level
- Babies who are born with meningitis
- Having poor head positioning
- Experiencing wide-spread organ problems
If your child suffered brain damage as a result of a negligent or reckless medical professional, it is imperative that you reach out to a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. You may be entitled to compensation to help alleviate the financial burdens you face moving forward. Contact The Medical Negligence Group’s brain injury attorneys as soon as possible to explore legal options available for you.
How Is Infant Brain Damage Diagnosed?
Doctors perform several tests to diagnose infant brain damage. When children suffer from hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, it is imperative that the condition is diagnosed within a few hours of birth so critical care can be started. Within the first hours of life, doctors will look for signs and symptoms of encephalopathy. Doctors will perform head imaging and use CT Scans and MRIs to locate brain damage and make a formal diagnosis.
When babies born prematurely have periventricular damage, these injuries are able to be seen on an ultrasound when the baby is 24-hours old. Cystic changes are usually visible within one to three weeks. For the most part, MRIs are used to locate and diagnose brain damage due to their ability to clearly show the white matter and any damages. It is not uncommon for multiple tests to be performed daily if brain injuries are suspected. In some cases, doctors are unable to see the injuries immediately on scans, which makes continual testing imperative. Once an injury is discovered, doctors will move on to serial scans and other tests to monitor and address the injuries.
Treatment Options for Brain Damage in Babies
Babies who suffer from brain damage may have various types of treatment available. The type of treatment a baby receives is determined by the type and severity of the injuries they suffer. Some of the most common treatment options for babies with brain damage include, but not limited to:
Hypothermia Therapy: Babies who are born with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) require an immediate diagnosis. Not having the condition diagnosed within 6-hours of birth can dramatically impact the health and wellbeing of a child. When children are diagnosed with HIE, they should undergo hypothermia therapy. This treatment is provided to slow brain cell death and slow the progression of brain damages. During brain cooling therapy, children will have their body temperature lowered a few degrees, where they will maintain the temperature for up to 72-hours. After therapy is finished, they will go through a warming period, which is also 72-hours, to warm the child up slowly back to their normal body temperature.
Supportive Care: Any type of brain injury a child suffers from will require supportive care. This care is designed to ensure that an adequate flow of blood reaches the brain and minimizes the swelling and fluid build-up. When babies suffer from brain bleeds or hemorrhaging, a timely and accurate diagnosis is imperative. Seizures can worsen the condition, which makes it crucial to treat them as rapidly as possible should they occur. When children are not diagnosed with brain bleeds and provided supportive care, their condition can worsen and cause extensive brain damage. Babies with brain injuries or hypoxia should be monitored continually with an EEG or through frequent EEG testing to ensure they do not suffer irreversible damages consequent to their injuries.
Oxygenation and Ventilation: Babies with brain damage often require assistance breathing. In many cases, brain injuries can cause a depressed ventilator drive, resulting in periods of apnea. To make sure babies receive an adequate supply of oxygen and rid their bodies of carbon dioxide, ventilators are often required. Although machines are commonly used to provide minimal assistance for children, they can require full support for extreme damages and injuries. In addition, many children with brain damage have problems breathing. For this reason, breathing tubes are often placed in the upper airways to help children maintain adequate oxygen levels.
Causes of Brain Damage in Babies
There are distinct events that can result in brain injuries for newborns. In many cases, a deprivation of oxygen causes debilitating injuries to children. When hypoxia occurs, children experience a dramatic restriction of blood flowing to their brain, which is a condition known as ischemia. Complications during the labor and delivery process, such as problems with the placenta, uterus, or umbilical cord, can cause an oxygen restriction to occur.
In addition to experiencing these complications, some brain damage is caused by the misuse of birthing tools like forceps and vacuum extractors. These tools can be extremely beneficial for assisting in difficult births. If they are not used by well-trained professionals, they can cause crippling brain injuries.
Other babies experience brain damage as a result of negligent medical professionals who fail to adequately monitor their fetal heart rate during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. When babies experience stress, it can impact their heart rates. In turn, fetal stress can lead to a deprivation of oxygen and an array of other life-threatening complications. For this reason, adequate monitoring is essential.
Complications that Cause Fetal Brain Damages
In addition to the above-listed complications, there is an array of other situations that can lead to debilitating brain damages. Some of these include:
Infections: When babies are born to mothers who have untreated infections, they are at an increased risk of contracting the infection. In some cases, neonatal infections can cause a decrease in the blood flow to the brain.
Oligohydramnios: When the baby does not have enough amniotic fluid surrounding its body, it is at an increased risk of having a compressed or prolapsed umbilical cord. This condition can also lead to meconium aspiration, which causes respiratory distress and problems with oxygenation.
Premature Rupture of the Membranes: PROM occurs when the water breaks before labor begins. PROM can lead to the compression of the umbilical cord, which deprives the child of the oxygen it needs to develop. In some cases, children are born before their lungs develop completely, which can lead to oxygen deprivation in the brain.
Prolonged/Arrested Labor: Contractions during labor are extremely traumatic for the baby. When babies are forced to go through long labors, they can experience oxygen deprivation. The chances of this happening are greatly increased if the mother is given Pitocin or Cytotec through the labor.
Placenta Previa: This condition occurs when the placenta grows too close to the opening of the uterus. This can cause a partial or complete blockage of the cervix. If this condition remains, and a normal vaginal delivery is attempted, it can cause severe bleeding for the mother and even the child.
Anesthesia Errors: When anesthesia is not properly administered, it can lead to a hypotensive crisis in the mother. When the mother’s blood pressure drops too low, it drastically deprives the child of oxygen-rich blood.
Fetal Strokes: When the blood vessels in the brain become blocked or restricted, it can cause debilitating fetal strokes. Most often, this condition is caused by the improper use of vacuum extractors and forceps. Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy and fetal strokes often occur simultaneously.
Abnormal Presentation: Babies who are not in the normal, head-first position for birth can suffer head trauma, brain bleeds, and umbilical cord problems. This can cause irreversible brain damage to unborn and newborn babies.
Preeclampsia: When mothers experience high blood pressure during pregnancy, it can cause a drastic decrease in blood flow to the baby. Without an immediate medical response, this can lead to vessel restriction in the placenta and deprive the child of oxygen.
Uteroplacental Insufficiency: The placenta plays a critical role in supplying oxygen to the baby and removing carbon dioxide. When uteroplacental insufficiency occurs, this natural process is disrupted.
If your baby suffered brain damage as a result of a negligent medical professional, it is imperative that you reach out to a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. You may be entitled to compensation to help alleviate the financial burdens you face as a result of these injuries.
The Medical Negligence Group Can Help You
Suffering brain damage can result in long-term impairments for children. Not only are these injuries debilitating, but they are often extremely painful. Children are overcome with limitations that continue to impact their health and wellbeing indefinitely. Although treatment is available for some injuries children sustain, it comes at a substantial cost. For this reason, it is imperative that families reach out to a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to get the justice they deserve.
Our team at The Medical Negligence Group has extensive experience fighting to protect families across the United States after they have been harmed by negligent and reckless medical professionals. Our brain damage attorneys are not only well-versed in the legal field, but they are also doctors who have extensive knowledge of the medical field. This uniquely positions our team to provide aggressive and competent legal representation that ensures families are able to get the justice and compensation they deserve. Over the years, our doctor-attorneys have helped numerous families obtain multi-million dollar verdicts for their legal claims. We are dedicated to helping each family impacted by debilitating brain damages hold wrongdoers accountable so they can get the justice they deserve. Contact our law firm today at (410) 220-6609 to schedule a free case evaluation to explore legal options available for you.
Gershon, Willoughby & Getz, LLC25 Hooks Lane Suite 304, Baltimore, Maryland 21208