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Signs your child sustained a brain injury during birth

Brain injuries can be serious, traumatic, and life changing events. That is not only true for the people who experience them, but for the families of those people who often have to care for a loved one with a traumatic brain injury. In babies, brain injuries are even more devastating.

Symptoms of brain injury in infants

Many parents worry something is wrong with their baby, but are not sure if a symptom is a sign of a brain injury. Below is a list of common brain injury symptoms in infants:

  • An abnormally large or small head
  • Distorted facial features
  • A stiff neck
  • Inability to focus the eyes
  • Seizures or tremors
  • Excessive crying for no reason
  • Trouble sleeping while laying down
  • Feeding problems
  • Light sensitivity

As your child begins to grow, missed milestones can also be an indicator that a brain injury was sustained during birth:

  • Sitting up without assistance
  • Crawling
  • Pulling up to stand
  • Manipulating objects
  • Walking

Common causes of brain injuries during birth

Most doctors are competent; however, the use of certain birthing tools or techniques can increase the risk of injury. If not performed with the utmost care, brain injury can occur. Common causes of brain injuries at birth include:

  • The use of forceps and vacuum extractors can cause infant brain bleeds
  • Delaying a c-section can result in oxygen deprivation
  • Not using a fetal heart monitor
  • Attempting a vaginal birth after a cesarean
  • An improperly handled prolapsed umbilical cord
  • Excessive or improper use of Pitocin
  • Failure to monitor infant glucose

If your child is displaying any of the symptoms listed above, and your doctor used one of the tools or methods below, you should consider investigating whether malpractice occurred. An experienced birth injury lawyer will be able to help you sort through the information and advise you of your - and your child's - rights.

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