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Infant Brain Injuries

Chicago birth injury lawyer for infant brain damage

Understanding Birth Injuries Leading to Brain Damage - Illinois Medical Malpractice Attorney

The brain is a highly complex and sensitive organ, and anything that causes injury to the brain can have permanent effects on a person's physical and mental health. During pregnancy and birth, a great deal of care should be taken to protect children from brain injuries.

Types of Brain Injuries

A child may experience a brain injury for a variety of reasons, including asphyxia during pregnancy or birth, infections, or physical trauma that occurs during delivery. Brain injuries can take a variety of forms, and multiple types of injuries may be interrelated or happen concurrently. Some common types of brain injuries experienced by newborns include:

  • Cystic encephalomalacia - Infections, trauma, or low blood pressure may result in the development of cysts in the white matter of the brain. Surgery may be necessary to remove these cysts or to ensure that they do not cause further damage to brain tissue.
  • Fetal or neonatal stroke - An interruption in blood blow to the brain may occur because of blood clots, infections, asphyxia, or head trauma. This can lead to permanent and irreversible damage to brain tissue.
  • Microcephaly - Birth injuries may result in the death of brain tissue or restrictions on the growth of a child's brain. This can cause a child's head to be smaller than normal.
  • Periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) - Infections, asphyxia, or bleeding within the brain can damage the tissue surrounding the ventricles in the brain.
  • Skull fractures - If the bones in a child's skull are broken during delivery, this can cause bleeding around the brain, damage to brain tissue, or ruptures in the membranes surrounding the brain.
  • Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) - A lack of oxygen to the brain can cause the death of brain tissue and create a chain reaction in which damaged brain cells release toxins that cause further brain damage.

Effects of Brain Injuries

Damage to the brain is often permanent and irreversible, and it can lead to conditions such as:

  • Developmental disorders - Brain injuries can lead to cerebral palsy, which may affect muscle control, reflexes, balance, and motor function. They can also lead to speech and language disorders and are associated with conditions such as Asperger's Disorder or autism.
  • Cognitive impairment - Damage to the brain may result in intellectual disabilities or problems with memory, information processing, and attention.
  • Epilepsy - Victims of brain injuries often experience seizures. These may occur for a short period of time, or they may be prolonged, resulting in additional neurological damage.
  • Physical impairment - Brain injuries may result in the loss of vision or hearing or paralysis of parts of the body. In severe cases, a child may be unable to breathe on their own, and a ventilator may be required to provide them with the oxygen needed to stay alive.

If a child experiences a brain injury during birth, it will likely have an impact that will last for years to come, or even the rest of their life. The costs involved in caring for a child with a brain injury can be huge, and they may include ongoing medical treatment and medication, physical and occupational therapy, assistive devices, and much more. In these cases, addressing a child's needs can become a full-time job on its own, affecting a parent's ability to earn an income and causing even more financial difficulties for a family.

At the Birth Injury Law Alliance, we work with families who have experienced a birth injury to help them understand their options for receiving financial help. We provide free consultations and case evaluations, and we can help you determine the best ways to address your family's needs, both now and in the years to come. Contact us today at 312-945-1300.

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