Intracranial Hemorrhages (Brain Bleeds) in Infants

Intracranial Hemorrhages (Brain Bleeds) in Infants

Types of Intracranial Hemorrhages

Intracranial hemorrhage describes to any bleeding that occurs inside the skull or brain. There are various distinctions between types of brain bleeds.

Cerebral Hemorrhage. A cerebral hemorrhage is a form of stroke in which bleeding occurs within the brain. In an infant, a hemorrhagic stroke is usually caused by weak blood vessels, trauma, or a congenital defect.

Subarachnoid Hemorrhage. Subarachnoid hemorrhages occur in the area between the innermost portion of the two membranes that cover the brain, or the subarachnoid space. These types of hemorrhages can occur in full-term babies.

Intraventricular Hemorrhage (IVH). An intraventricular hemorrhage is the most critical type of brain bleed. This is when there is bleeding into the brain’s ventricular system where the cerebral spinal fluid is produced. This condition is seen in premature and low-birth weight infants. Because the blood vessels in premature infants are not fully developed, they are often weak and rupture easily. This type of bleeding can also be caused by trauma during labor or delivery.

Subdural Hemorrhage. The subdural hemorrhage, also called a subdural hematoma, is characterized by one or more blood vessels rupturing in the subdural space between the brain’s outer surface and the thin layer of tissue that separates it from the skull. These ruptures are sometimes caused by difficult deliveries and may cause seizures, elevated bilirubin levels in the blood, poor Moro reflex, extensive retinal hemorrhages, or a rapidly enlarging head.

Cephalohematoma. Cephalohematoma is bleeding between the skull and its covering, presenting as a raised bump on the baby’s head. It usually occurs a few hours after delivery and can last anywhere between two weeks and a few months.

Intracranial Hemorrhages Caused by Labor and Delivery

There are several reasons why brain bleeds occur during labor and delivery:

  • prolonged labor
  • blood disorders, such as hemophilia or vitamin K deficiency
  • cephalopelvic disproportion (baby’s head is large or mother’s pelvis is small
  • abnormal change in blood pressure
  • hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (lack of oxygen to the baby)

Additionally, certain medical intervention during labor and delivery can also result in intracranial hemorrhage. The use of forceps and vacuum extractors has been well-documented as a common cause, as haves improper delivery methods such as twisting or pulling on the baby’s head with too much force.

Premature infants are always at greater risk for brain injury because of their extremely fragile, underdeveloped blood vessels. Between 10 and 20 percent of all premature infants will experience brain bleeds, and the majority of these will occur in babies that are born prior to 30 weeks gestation.

Holding the Doctor Responsible

When you are preparing for the birth of your new baby, you are entrusting not only your own welfare but also the health and well-being of your unborn child to your physician and medical staff. You are depending on them to get you through your pregnancy and deliver your baby using the knowledge, tools, and experience they have.

It is vital that these paid professionals monitor every aspect of your pregnancy carefully to make sure they are prepared for any situation that may arise. During delivery, it is their responsibility to monitor fetal stress and be prepared to perform an emergency C-section if necessary. It is also their duty to make sure you are aware of any stress being experienced by your baby and to offer options for intervention, including C-section delivery.

Difficult delivery situations can result in infant brain hemorrhaging. Unfortunately, the injuries caused by these types of bleeds may be permanently debilitating or even fatal. The prognosis depends on many factors, including the severity and location of the bleed. Once a bleed is suspected, it is extremely important to confirm the condition and treat it accordingly.

Birth Injury Lawyers in Michigan

If your child has suffered any type of birth injury, including an intracranial hemorrhage, and you believe it was caused by negligence (malpractice), call us at Thurswell Law. Because a child who has suffered an intracranial hemorrhage may experience intellectual and developmental disabilities, cerebral palsy, or other life-altering consequences, it is extremely important that you plan financially for his or her future.

The compassionate legal professionals at Thurswell Law have extensive experience in dealing with Michigan birth injury cases and will work with you to get you the monetary compensation you deserve. Call 248-354-5544 for your free consultation. No fee unless you collect.

(248) 354-2222

1000 Town Center, Suite 500
Southfield, MI 48075

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