Seattle Infant Brain Damage Attorneys
Birth is not an easy process, and many babies suffer minor injuries during labor and delivery, most of which resolve on their own in time. Infants who sustain injury to the brain during birth are not so fortunate. Infant brain damage can cause a range of physical ailments and neurological problems that last a lifetime.
Not all infant brain damage is caused by medical negligence – some birth complications are not foreseeable or preventable. Most conditions and complications are well-known in modern medicine, and can be recognized, treated, or prevented. However, when preventable medical errors cause brain damage and lifelong suffering for newborns and their families, negligent health care providers responsible for those injuries should be held accountable.
Our Seattle birth injury attorneys at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. understand how devastating it is for parents to see a newborn child who has suffered serious birth injuries. We have dedicated our practice to protecting the rights of injured people, including infants and their families. If you suspect that your baby sustained brain damage at birth as a result of acts of medical negligence, we offer our knowledge, experience, and resources to help you seek justice and compensation.
Although childbirth is a natural process, things can go wrong, particularly when healthcare providers fail to perform as they should. There are a number of possible causes of infant brain damage:
Birth asphyxia (oxygen deprivation) is one of the main causes of newborn fatalities, and it can also cause infant brain damage. Although premature babies have a higher risk of oxygen deprivation, it also occurs in full-term infants. A child may be deprived of oxygen during labor and delivery for a number of reasons, including:
- Long or difficult delivery
- Placenta separating from the uterus too soon
- Umbilical cord problems
- Baby's airways are blocked
- Mother's blood contains too little oxygen before or during birth
- High or low blood pressure in the mother
- Infection in the mother or baby
- Anemia causing the infant's blood cells to carry too little oxygen
- Delay in neonatal resuscitation
Birth-related injuries are a leading cause of cerebral palsy and intellectual disabilities. Medical errors during labor and delivery can cause trauma and brain damage to infants, including:
- Improper use of forceps or vacuums on the child's head
- Delivery performed too quickly causing physical trauma
- Difficult and protracted delivery with the baby's head hitting against the mother's pubic bone
Infant brain hemorrhage is often caused by blunt force trauma to the infant's head, or pressure incorrectly applied to the pregnant mother during the birth process. Brain hemorrhage can also be caused if a baby is dropped after delivery.
Jaundice is a common condition in newborn babies that typically resolves if treated immediately. Left untreated, however, higher bilirubin levels in child's circulatory system can cause a type of brain damage known as kernicterus.
It is crucial for physicians to closely monitor expectant mothers for infection and promptly prescribe the proper treatment. Herpes, rubella, varicella, and syphilis are examples of infections that can cause infant brain damage. A chorioamnionitis (intra-amnionic infection or IAI) is an infection that can transfer from mother to the baby during a prolonged labor, resulting in bacterial infection of the fetal amnion and chorion membranes.
Although complications can arise in childbirth, many can be prevented if health care providers are diligent in monitoring the mother and baby, and responding instantly to fetal distress. If your child has suffered brain damage at birth through the negligence of medical professionals, our personal injury lawyers at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. are here to help you hold responsible parties accountable. Call us at (888) 228-3860 for a free consultation at no charge.
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