There are many medical issues that can arise during labor and delivery, some common and non-threatening, some rare and deadly. One of the most frightening things a new parent can be told is that their child has an intracranial hemorrhage. This serious medical condition can have significant and life-long consequences for a child if it is not diagnosed in time and treated properly.
An intracranial hemorrhage, also called a hematoma, occurs when there is bleeding somewhere within a child's skull. There is more than one type of brain hemorrhage that a child can suffer from. The term for these different brain bleeds differs depending on where the hematoma is located.
Types of Hemorrhages
If there is bleeding between the skull and the dura, then this is known as an epidural hemorrhage. The dura is the “outermost, toughest, and most fibrous of the three membranes (meninges) covering the brain and the spinal cord.” If the bleeding occurs below the dura and above the next layer down, called the arachnoid mater, then this is known as a subdural hemorrhage.
A subarachnoid hemorrhage is when there is bleeding between the arachnoid layer and the lowest membrane, the pia mater. If there is bleeding within the brain itself, this is referred to as an intraparenchymal hemorrhage and if there is bleeding within the one of the four ventricles in the brain this is called an intraventricular hemorrhage.
Medical Errors and Intracranial Hemorrhages
There are multiple things that can cause bleeding in the brain. A hemorrhage occurs when an artery in the brain bursts. The bleeding is localized to a certain area of the brain and can destroy brain cells. The following are some of the potential causes of a brain hemorrhage in an infant:
- Trauma: A brain bleed can occur if a baby's head is injured during the birthing process. This type of injury can occur if a delivery assistance tool such as a forceps or vacuum extraction device is not used properly. In addition, trauma can occur if a doctor or other medical professional exerts too much force on a child's skull during the delivery process.
- Blood disorders such as Hemophilia: Hemophilia is a disorder where a person's blood does not clot properly. This is an inherited condition and doctors can conduct testing prior to or at a child's birth in order to determine if the child has the condition.
- High blood pressure
- Blood vessel abnormalities
- Brain tumors and aneurysms
These are just some possible causes of an intracranial hemorrhage in an infant. A competent and skilled doctor should take care to monitor both mother and child for any potential conditions that could lead to a hematoma. For example, if there is a family history of hemophilia then the physician should inform the parent that this condition could be passed to the baby and conduct the appropriate tests in order to see if the infant has the condition. If a medical professional fails to meet the standard of care, then he or she could be liable for the injuries that a patient suffers as a result of the medical professional's negligent behavior.
Contact A Philadelphia Birth Injury Attorney
Bleeding in the brain can be mild or severe. A patient may fully recover or be left with permanent brain damage. In some cases, a child may even pass away as a result of his or her injuries. If your child had a intracranial hemorrhage and you believe that it was the result of medical malpractice, contact the law firm of Gilman & Bedigian today. Our attorneys have years of experience fighting for the youngest among us and have helped our clients receive significant verdicts for the injuries they have suffered at the hands of negligent medical professionals. Contact our firm today by calling 1.800.529.6162 or by filling out our online contact form.