Impact of Infant Brain Damage on New Born Babies and Their Families
Infant brain damage due to medical malpractice is a heartbreaking situation that deals heavy physical and psychological repercussions to the affected parties. The most severe and long-term consequences of infant brain damage is the potential for subsequent cognitive delays and disabilities. Unfortunately, according to research conducted at Baylor College, nearly 1 in every 55 children suffers from some form of cognitive impairment.
Additionally, the effects of infant brain damage on the family of the affected can be just as pronounced. Bereavement, emotional stress, and anxiety can all result due to the diagnosis of the infant. Moreover, as medical care for infant brain damage is often extensive and complex, additional financial and scheduling pressures can arise for the family.
Medical malpractice is a highly preventable issue that carries immense consequences for those affected by it. In a particularly vulnerable period in a person’s life, like infancy, the potential for harm that medical malpractice can carry is especially concerning. Tragically, it is estimated that medical errors are behind more than 6% of infant deaths and an astonishing 80% of infant brain damage cases. This sobering reality is especially prevalent in instances of hospitalized babies.
According to research conducted at Stanford University, approximately 10 to 15 out of every 1,000 babies that are born are injured due to medical malpractice. Moreover, as much as two-thirds of these cases are due to errors in the newborn nursery of the hospital. These errors can include wrongfully administering medicines, misdiagnoses, or general negligence.
Infant Brain Damage Explained
Infant brain damage can occur as a result of medical negligence during childbirth or in the neonatal period. Medical negligence refers to the failure of healthcare professionals to provide a reasonable standard of care, resulting in harm or injury to the infant. Brain damage can have long-lasting and profound effects on the child’s development and quality of life. Here are some ways medical negligence can contribute to infant brain damage:
- Failure to recognize and respond to fetal distress: Fetal distress occurs when the baby is not receiving adequate oxygen or blood flow during labor and delivery. Healthcare providers have a duty to monitor the baby’s well-being and promptly respond to signs of distress, such as abnormal fetal heart rate patterns. Failure to recognize or appropriately address fetal distress can result in prolonged oxygen deprivation, leading to brain damage.
- Delayed or improper response to complications: Complications during childbirth, such as umbilical cord prolapse, placental abruption, or shoulder dystocia, require swift and appropriate action by healthcare providers. Delayed response or improper management of these complications can result in oxygen deprivation and subsequent brain damage in the infant.
- Medication errors: Negligence can occur when healthcare providers administer the wrong medication, incorrect dosage, or fail to monitor the infant’s response to medications properly. Medication errors can lead to adverse effects on the infant’s brain and overall health.
- Inadequate monitoring and management of maternal conditions: Certain maternal conditions, such as infections, high blood pressure, or gestational diabetes, can increase the risk of brain damage in the infant. Healthcare providers have a responsibility to monitor and manage these conditions appropriately during pregnancy and delivery. Failure to do so may contribute to infant brain damage.
- Improper use of medical instruments: During assisted vaginal deliveries, the improper use of forceps or vacuum extractors can cause trauma to the baby’s head, leading to brain damage. Healthcare providers must be trained in the correct use of these instruments and exercise caution to prevent harm.
Proving medical negligence in cases of infant brain damage requires a thorough evaluation of the medical records, expert medical opinions, and the demonstration of a breach in the standard of care. If you suspect that medical negligence may have caused brain damage in your child, it is crucial to consult with a qualified birth injury attorney who can assess the details of your case, gather necessary evidence, and provide guidance on pursuing legal action to seek compensation for the damages incurred.
Symptoms and Treatment of Infant Brain Damage
The symptoms of infant brain damage can vary depending on the severity of the injury. Some babies with brain damage may have no symptoms at all, while others may have severe symptoms, such as:
- Learning disabilities
- Cerebral palsy
- Vision problems
- Hearing problems
- Speech problems
- Intellectual disabilities
- Behavioral problems
There is no cure for infant brain damage, but there are treatments that can help to improve the outcome for the child. Treatment may include:
- Early intervention: Early intervention services can help children with brain damage reach their full potential. These services can include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and special education.
- Medications: Medications can be used to control seizures and other symptoms of brain damage.
- Surgery: Surgery may be used to correct some birth defects or to relieve pressure on the brain.
Do You Wish to Speak with A Birth Injury Lawyer?
Infant brain damage due to medical malpractice is a serious issue that more people must be educated about. It is essential that these preventable errors are addressed proactively, and that appropriate steps are taken to protect infants and their families. Speaking with a birth injury lawyer is an important step in protecting your child’s rights and getting the compensation you deserve.
If you believe that your child has suffered from infant brain damage due to medical negligence, it may be advisable to speak with a birth injury lawyer. Our law firm Pacific Attorney Group specializes in handling cases related to birth injuries and can provide guidance on your legal rights and options. Call us now, we are here to help you 24×7.