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Warning Signs of an Infant Brain Injury

Baby in incubator crying while parent touches their head

Some birth injuries are obvious, present signs like muscle stiffness or bruising. Other injuries, particularly those affecting the brain, can go unnoticed for months or even years. Identifying and treating these injuries can be difficult, which is why it’s crucial that every new parent knows the warning signs of an infant brain injury.

How Could My Child Have Experienced a Birth Injury?

The first question on many parent’s minds is, “how could this happen?” Birth injuries affecting the brain often occur due to complications and medical errors made during delivery. There are a number of factors to consider, including the mother’s health (blood pressure, diabetic status, etc.) and the delivery method (forceps, c-section, labor-inducing drugs, etc.)

The first warning signs are in the delivery room. If the mother’s vitals are not closely monitored, if labor comes to a halt, or if there are emergency circumstances like placental abruption, you should keep records of your child’s development. Latent birth injuries can be difficult to identify, but recognizing the signs early on gives you the best chance to pursue justice.

Why are Latent Birth Injuries Difficult to Identify?

Infant brain injuries are often due to birth hypoxia or hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), both meaning that the baby experienced a brain injury due to a lack of oxygen. The problem is that each brain injury caused by a lack of oxygen affects the brain differently.

There’s no way to tell what parts of the brain will be damaged by a lack of oxygen, which means the symptoms can be different in each case. Not only that, newborns often won’t show signs of a brain injury until they delay or altogether miss critical developmental milestones.

What are the Warning Signs of a Latent Injury?

If you suspect your child was cut off from oxygen during delivery, you should watch for these signs in the weeks immediately after you take them home.

Warning Signs for Newborn (0-4 months)

  • Minimal laughing or crying
  • Baby doesn’t recognize parent’s face or voice
  • No reaction to bright lights or loud noises

Each of these signs is a cause for concern. If your newborn presents any of these signs, you should contact your pediatrician as soon as possible. The sooner you identify an infant brain injury, the sooner you’re able to provide the specialized care your child needs and pursue justice for their injuries.

Remember that each brain injury has different symptoms. Your child could have experienced a brain injury that isn’t apparent until they miss these developmental milestones.

Warning Signs for Developmental Milestones

  • Doesn’t grasp or pick up objects at 4-5 months
  • Cannot stand unassisted at 15 months
  • Non-verbal at 16 months

While every baby develops differently, significant delays or altogether missed milestones significantly increase the likelihood that your child experienced a brain injury. In some cases, the signs may not be obvious until the child is a toddler and has difficulty forming complete sentences or following logical relationships. In either case, you should contact your child’s doctor and a birth injury attorney.

How a Medical Malpractice Attorney Can Help

A brain injury can cause lifelong difficulties in cognitive development, education, and even performing daily tasks. Many parents of infants with brain injuries are unprepared to navigate this situation and may struggle to afford the care and specialized equipment their child needs to live comfortably.

When you hire a birth injury attorney from Simonson Goodman Platzer PC,our team will fight for your child and your family’s future. Our team does whatever we can to make a stressful situation a little easier. Our team will handle the investigating and questioning needed to hold doctors accountable for their negligence and pursue the justice your family deserves.

If you or someone you love experienced a birth injury, we can help. If you want an experienced New York City personal injury attorney from Simonson Goodman Platzer PC to fight for your recovery, don’t hesitate to send us an email or call (800) 817-5029.