What Are the Causes of Infant Brain Injuries at Birth?

birth injury attorneyInfant brain injuries occurring at birth are a grave concern for healthcare professionals, parents, and society at large. These injuries can lead to lifelong disabilities and challenges for the affected child and their families. Understanding the causes of these injuries is crucial for prevention, early detection, and effective intervention. One of the ways in which an infant may sustain a brain injury is due to the medical negligence (carelessness) of the doctor or staff involved in delivering the child.

Main Causes of Infant Brain Injuries at Birth

Here are some of the ways in which infant brain injuries can occur during labor and delivery:

Oxygen deprivation (Hypoxia and Anoxia):
One of the most common causes of infant brain injuries during birth is oxygen deprivation, which occurs due to various reasons including:

  • Umbilical cord complications: A prolapsed or compressed umbilical cord can restrict blood flow and oxygen supply to the baby.
  • Placental abruption: This occurs when the placenta detaches from the uterine wall prematurely, reducing the baby’s oxygen supply.
  • Prolonged labor: Extended labor can lead to fetal distress, reducing the oxygen supply to the baby.
  • Maternal hypotension: A sudden drop in the mother’s blood pressure can compromise the baby’s oxygen supply.

Birth Trauma: Infant Brain Injuries can stem from traumatic birth injuries caused by:

  • Instrument-assisted deliveries: The use of forceps or vacuum extractors can cause brain injuries if not used correctly.
  • Shoulder dystocia: This occurs when the baby’s shoulder gets stuck behind the mother’s pelvic bone, leading to potential nerve damage and brain injuries.
  • Cephalopelvic disproportion: When the baby’s head is too large to pass through the mother’s pelvis, it can lead to traumatic birth injuries including brain damage.
  • Physical trauma during birth can occur as a result of multiple births, breech presentation (when the baby is feet-first instead of head-first) and pre-term birth where babies are more susceptible to brain injuries due to their underdeveloped organs and systems.

Medical Negligence (carelessness) when Monitoring the Mother and Baby

It is the responsibility of medical professionals to monitor the condition of the fetus and the mother and make decisions that reduce or eliminate a risky delivery. If your child has suffered a birth injury due to medical negligence (carelessness), then he or she may be able to receive compensation that helps pay for medical expenses, lost income, cost of therapy, future treatments, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc.

Infections during pregnancy or delivery can pose a significant risk to the baby’s developing brain. These can be maternal infections such as cytomegalovirus (CMV), toxoplasmosis, and rubella can cross the placenta and potentially affect the baby’s brain. Infections acquired by the baby during or shortly after birth, such as meningitis or sepsis, can lead to brain damage if not treated promptly.

Monitoring Maternal Conditions: Certain maternal conditions and behaviors can increase the risk of infant brain injuries. For example, hypertension or high blood pressure during pregnancy can lead to complications, including reduced oxygen supply to the baby. Poorly controlled diabetes can cause birth defects and increase the risk of brain injuries in the baby. Medical errors and negligence during the stages of childbirth can result in infant brain injuries, including:

  • Delayed C-section: Failing to perform a timely cesarean section in cases of fetal distress can lead to oxygen deprivation and brain damage.
  • Medication errors: Incorrect dosage or administration of medications during labor and delivery can harm the baby’s brain.
  • Inadequate monitoring: Inadequate fetal monitoring during labor can lead to missed signs of distress and delayed interventions.

Contacting a New York Birth Injury Lawyer

The experienced personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you. One of our clients secured a $2,850,000 verdict in an Erb’s palsy (brachial plexus palsy) case that was reduced by the appeals court to $1,846,000 because the verdict was so large. This was the highest amount upheld by the appellate (appeals) courts for many, many years. In addition, we recovered $1,400,000 for a newborn who lost motion in the arm during birth due to doctors applying incorrect force on the baby’s head. One of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.

We have seen cases where New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation facilities deliver babies who are born with cerebral palsy or brachial plexus palsy (Erb’s palsy) stemming from negligence (carelessness), and/or medical malpractice in the labor and delivery etc. of the children.

The following list identifies some of these hospitals (operated by New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation):

• Jacobi Hospital aka Bronx Municipal 1400 Pelham Parkway South Bronx, New York 10461 718-918-5000
• Lincoln Hospital 234 East 149th Street Bronx, New York 10451 718-579-5000
• North Central Bronx Hospital 3424 Kossuth Avenue Bronx, New York 10467 718-519-5000
• Coney Island Hospital 2601 Ocean Parkway Brooklyn, New York 11235 718-616-3000
• Kings County Hospital 451 Clarkson Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11203 718-245-3131
• Woodhull Hospital 760 Broadway Brooklyn, New York 11206 718-963-8000
• Bellevue Hospital 462 First Avenue New York, New York 10016 212-562-5555
• Harlem Hospital 506 Lenox Avenue New York, New York 10037 212-939-1000
• Metropolitan Hospital 1901 First Avenue New York, New York 10029 212-423-6262
• Elmhurst Hospital 79-01 Broadway Elmhurst, New York 11373 718-334-4000
• Queens Hospital Center 82-68 164th Street Jamaica, New York 11432 718-883-3000

Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury, lead poisoning and medical malpractice cases including, brachial plexus palsy (Erb’s palsy) and cerebral palsy cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.

Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:

1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES

Please visit us at: www.WORK4YOULAW.com