Not many milestones in life are as exciting as expecting a baby. Unfortunately, this excitement can turn into a nightmare when your little bundle of joy sustains an injury during the pregnancy (prenatal) or at birth (perinatal).
Infant birth injuries are quite common. In fact, statistics show that 6 out of 1000 infants sustain some form of injury during birth.
Here are some of the causes of infant brain injury.
Oxygen deprivation or asphyxia is the primary cause of infant brain injury both during pregnancy and birth.Many cases of oxygen deprivation are neglected during prenatal or perinatal care. Oxygen deprivation can take two forms: hypoxia and apoxia.
Hypoxia happens when the oxygen supply to the infant’s brain is significantly reduced resulting in brain tissue damage. Apoxia, on the other hand, happens when the oxygen supply to the infant’s brain is totally cut for a time period.
Here are some of the common causes of infant oxygen deprivation:
- Umbilical cord issues such as twisting or compression of the umbilical cord
- Prolonged labor that results in the baby getting stuck in the birth canal
- Placental separation such as premature detachment of the placenta from the uterus
Maternal infection is another common cause of infant brain damage. Infections that are not diagnosed and treated in time can potentially interfere with the infant’s delivery. The risk and nature of brain damage depends on the type of infection (bacterial or viral) as well as the location of the infection. A bacterial infection such as chorioamnionitis can pose a serious danger to the infant’s brain if it is not diagnosed and treated in time.
Brain injury can have a lasting impact on the infant’s life. Find out how you can pursue a birth injury lawsuit if you believe your infant’s injury is attributable to the health care provider’s negligence.