Especially in infant children, early onset or in utero brain injuries can be hard to diagnose, and even if they are diagnosed, it can be nearly impossible to tell how the injury will manifest in the life of a child. Typically, brain injuries present from birth occur as the result of lack of oxygen during the birthing process, which is generally preventable. Accordingly, if your child has suffered from a traumatic brain injury since birth, you should consider the possibility that her injury was the result of medical malpractice. Whether it was malpractice during the birthing process or failure to diagnose an infection during development, traumatic brain injuries seldom occur in otherwise healthy children without external contributing factors.
Brain Injuries Defined
There are two different categories of brain injuries: traumatic brain injuries and acquired brain injuries. A traumatic brain injury is defined as an alteration in brain function as the result of an external force, i.e., a car accident. An acquired brain injury, however, is actually defined as a brain injury that is not hereditary or induced by birth trauma, i.e., a tumor or injury caused by a stroke. According, if your child suffered a brain injury during the birthing process, it is generally considered a traumatic brain injury. The following are examples of traumatic brain injuries:
Typically, traumatic brain injuries that occur during the birthing process are caused by decreased oxygen or decreased blood flow to the baby’s brain.
Developmental and Unpreventable Brain Injuries
Unfortunately, there are some brain injuries that occur in utero that are generally not caused by medical malpractice. While failure to diagnose an in-utero infection or jaundice can result in brain injury and is, in turn, claimable as malpractice, injuries such as cerebral palsy are not always preventable as they are sometimes caused by natural brain malformation. Further, maternal negligence can also cause pre-birth traumatic brain injuries that are not the fault of a physician. For example, fetal alcohol syndrome , caused by excessive consumption of alcohol by the mother during pregnancy, leads to developmental issues in the brain that are generally not reversible.
When a child develops an inability to concentrate during his vital educational years, parents and medical professionals may assume that the child is suffering from attention deficit disorder. However, before accepting such a diagnosis, it is important to ask yourself if a traumatic event before or during birth may have resulted in a brain injury.
Even if a doctor tells you that a brain injury from birth…