A new baby’s brain is a delicate thing. Children being delivered are more prone to brain damage than anyone. When a labor and delivery medical team fails to use the necessary caution to protect the brain, it can have a devastating effect on a child’s physical and cognitive development.
In many brain injury medical malpractice cases, doctors incorrectly evaluated the situation and failed to notice a child’s elevated risk for brain damage. In some cases, doctors simply failed to take the right steps to prevent injury even in cases where a child is known to have an unusually high risk for brain damage.
Factors that may increase a baby’s risk for brain damage include:
- A child undergoing vaginal delivery (vacuum extraction and forceps use)
- Mother’s infection during pregnancy
- Mother’s urinary tract infection
- Lack of oxygen (asphyxia)
- Placenta tearing, abnormalities, and other problems
- Premature delivery
- Brain bleeding
- Blood diseases
- Rh disease (incompatibility between mom and baby’s blood type)
- Severe jaundice
- Birth defects
- High birth weight or larger-than-average head size
Brain Damage Causes
There are two primary ways that an infant can be seriously harmed by brain damage: physical trauma and oxygen deprivation.
Physical trauma to the head may occur if unnecessary pressure is forced upon the delicate head and neck area. In some cases, the rough use of forceps or misuse of vacuum extraction can harm a child’s soft head and cause serious injury to the brain tissue.
Any number of mistakes during the delivery process can block the flow of oxygen from reaching a child’s brain. An experienced brain injury attorney will work with brain damage experts who have the experience and expertise to recognize evidence of preventable brain damage due to oxygen deprivation.