Brain damage at birth is something that no one wants to imagine for their child as it can leave them facing lifelong unwanted disabilities. Brain damage occurs when cells are harmed or destroyed during any point of the birthing process (before, during, and after).
Some injuries sustained while giving birth may directly result from traumatic brain injury, while others may be caused by infections that occurred during pregnancy. Depending on the severity of the damage, some babies may be able to recover from their birth injuries, while others may suffer from lifelong conditions that require ongoing treatment.
Signs of Brain Damage at Birth
When suspecting a child may be suffering from brain damage caused at birth, it’s essential to understand and be aware of telltale signs associated with these types of injuries. Symptoms of birth injuries can vary depending on the child’s age and the kind of brain damage that was caused. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Neck/muscle stiffness
- Sensitivity to light
- Visible scalp injuries
- Abnormally large forehead
- Unusual eye movements
- High-pitched crying
- Abnormally small head
- Excessive drooling
- Loose muscles
- Seizures and/or tremors
- Difficulty eating or swallowing
- Arched back while crying
- Abnormally shaped spine
If you believe your child is displaying several of these symptoms, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately. Failure to do so could result in injuries worsening and your child suffering longer.
What Effects Can Brain Damage Leave on a Child?
Brain damage can be very complex, and a victim’s prognosis can depend on many elements. Many children who experience birth injuries can recover fully and live a normal everyday life—however, this isn’t always the case when dealing with significant damage.
Birth-related brain injuries don’t always leave children facing physical damage but emotional ones. The effects may change over time due to the baby’s brain beginning to develop fully. Some other effects brain damage may have on children include:
- Difficulty remembering people and events
- Extreme mood swings, anxiety, and depression
- Exaggerated emotions that affect behavior (such as anger and agitation)
- Issues with balance, mobility, coordination, and muscle weakness
- Physical and verbal communication issues
- Diabetes, reduced body hair, hormonal imbalances, weight gain
Birth-Related Brain Injury Treatment
Like most injuries, recovery and treatment depend on the extent of the damage sustained. Treatment for these types of injuries also relies heavily on whether the brain damage was identified early or not.
When recognized shortly after birth, therapeutic hypothermia (intentionally lowering the baby’s blood temperature) or surgery may be effective treatment methods. Whereas for damage that is not identified as quickly, victims may require other types of treatment that will effectively address the damage and associated symptoms. Common treatment options for these types of injuries include:
- Assistive devices
- Physical therapy
- Mobility ads
- Speech therapy
- Educational interventions
- Occupational therapy
- Adaptive equipment
Get the Help You Need
When dealing with birth-related brain injuries, time is of the essence, so it’s important that you get your baby the medical attention they need. After speaking with a medical professional, it could be beneficial to speak with a skilled attorney, as they can help you decipher any legal options you may have moving forward.
When deciding to take legal action for your child’s injuries, it’s important that you have someone you trust and is knowledgeable on your side. This will ensure you better understand your case, its details, and what the claim process will entail. Here at Warner Law Offices, PLLC, we have a team of skilled birth injury attorneys who want to see you succeed. We are committed to offering you the legal counsel you need every step of the way. You shouldn’t have to fight this alone, so we offer personalized support from start to finish. Let us be your voice.