Brain Hemorrhage Birth Injury

Intracranial Bleeding or Stroke during Birth

An intracranial hemorrhage is a type of birth injury that occurs when an infant’s brain experiences bleeding before, during, or soon after birth. Intracranial hemorrhages are delineated among different types depending on the location and severity of the bleeding. These injuries can range from minor bleeding to severe hemorrhaging. When an intracranial hemorrhage occurs, a child can experience a host of serious complications, including oxygen deprivation, also known as hypoxia, and permanent brain injury. In some cases, intracranial hemorrhages are caused by medical negligence. When doctors’ errors contribute to traumatic birth injuries like brain bleeds, they can be held accountable through legal action. With a birth injury lawsuit, you can obtain the financial compensation you need to afford the necessary treatments, therapies, and accommodations that can help your child thrive.

What is an Intracranial Hemorrhage?

An intracranial hemorrhage is a type of bleeding that occurs inside the skull, also known as the cranium.

There are several different types of intracranial hemorrhage:

  • Cerebral hemorrhage: also known as intracerebral hemorrhage, this type of bleeding occurs inside the brain itself
  • Intraventricular hemorrhage: bleeding that occurs inside the brain’s ventricular system, which produces cerebrospinal fluid.
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage: bleeding that occurs in the region between the brain and the tissue that covers the brain (known as the subarachnoid space)
  • Subdural hemorrhage: also known as subdural hematoma, this type of bleeding occurs between the surface of the brain and the skull
  • Cephalohematoma: bleeding that occurs between the skull and the covering of the skull

Previous data indicates that small subdural, subarachnoid, and intracerebral hemorrhages occur in between 20 and 30 percent of live births. As for larger, more severe intraventricular hemorrhages, these are more rare, occurring in approximately 10 to 15 percent of live births.

Causes of Intracranial Hemorrhages

There are a variety of potential causes of intracranial hemorrhages and some factors increase the likelihood that brain bleeds will occur. Some of the most common causes and risk factors for intracranial hemorrhages include:

  • Prematurity
  • Fetal macrosomia: babies who are larger in size than average for their gestational age
  • Cephalopelvic disproportion: when the baby is too large for the size and shape of the mother’s pelvis
  • Abnormal delivery presentation: when the baby is in breech or face-first position
  • Prolonged and stressful labor
  • Bleeding and blood disorders (i.e. hemophilia)
  • Fetal distress and hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE)

There are several types of delivery errors that may lead to bleeding in and around the brain during childbirth. For example, errors during assisted deliveries can lead to brain hemorrhage if doctors improperly utilize forceps or vacuum extractor tools. In addition, using excessive force or pulling too hard on the baby’s head can cause an intracranial hemorrhage.

Complications from Brain Bleed Birth Injuries

The greatest risk associated with brain bleeds involves oxygen deprivation. The brain needs a continuous supply of oxygen in order to function properly. When an intracranial hemorrhage occurs, blood fills the brain region, increasing intracranial pressure. With increased pressure on the brain and/or the vessels that supply it will blood and oxygen, the brain may lack the oxygen it needs to survive. In other cases, fetal distress and lack of oxygen can result in severely elevated blood pressure, which causes the vessels in the brain to rupture, leading to intracranial hemorrhage. If either sequence of events occurs, brain cells without oxygen begin to die in just a few minutes. This irreversible damage can impair critical nerve and brain function for the rest of the victim’s life.

Some of the possible complications caused by intracranial hemorrhages are:

  • Brain damage
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Seizures
  • Paralysis
  • Motor problems
  • Developmental delays and learning disabilities

Did Your Child Suffer Brain Trauma at Birth in New Jersey?

If your child experienced an intracranial hemorrhage or other type of birth injury involving the brain, negligent medical care may have contributed to their pain and suffering. If you would like to speak with a knowledgeable attorney about your potential birth injury case, contact us today at (866)-708-8617 or online for a free consultation. Our newborn brain injury lawyers aggressively pursue compensation for victims in Jersey City, Belleville, Hackensack, East Orange, Camden, Teaneck, Morristown, and throughout New Jersey and New York.

Resources: Perinatal Intracranial Hemorrhages Pathology, Medscape

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