Why Infants are at High Risk for Head & Brain Injuries
When you look at a newborn baby, it’s hard not to marvel at how tiny and delicate their entire bodies look. But one part of their bodies that needs to be treated as delicately as possible is their heads. Unlike older children and adults, infants aren’t born with skulls that are fully hardened. While this helps with the birthing process, it also inherently leaves them at risk for injuries to the skull and brain during delivery.
Sometimes, a child might need a little extra assistance coming into the world. However, because of their soft skulls, it’s very important that doctors be very careful if they need to maneuver the child through the birth canal. This is true whether a doctor is manually moving a child or using birth-assisting tools like forceps and vacuum extractors. When done properly, all of these methods can be safe ways of helping deliver a new baby into the world. But when mistakes are made, it’s very easy for the child to get hurt. Forceps and vacuum extractors can both fracture skulls and other types of head injuries like subgaleal hematoma and caput succedaneum. In more severe cases, they can also cause intracranial hemorrhages and other types of brain injuries.
While an infant’s head can withstand the pressure that naturally comes during the delivery process, the pressure that comes with a prolonged labor can potentially be too much for the child’s skull. If a labor goes on for too long and a doctor fails to intervene in a timely manner, the child can be at risk for injuries like cerebral compression injuries and brain injuries caused by a lack of oxygen, such as HIE.
The effects of a head or brain injury around the time of birth largely depend on the type of injury, severity of the injury, and how quickly treatment begins. In some cases, an injury may be able to clear up on its own without medical intervention. In other cases, an injury might result in long-term problems like sensory problems, developmental delays, or seizure disorders.
When a child sustains an injury to their brain or skull around the time of birth, the effects can potentially last for years to come. If your child’s head or brain was injured around the time of birth, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a birth trauma lawyer. Even if your child is a few years old, you may still be able to take legal action. At the Law Offices of Goodwin & Scieszka, we’ve helped many people just like you in the Metro Detroit area and can answer any questions you have about your case. Contact us today to get started.