Hope for Premature Babies with Brain Injuries
Brain injuries are common in newborns, especially in premature babies and babies who have traumatic births with numerous complications. Whether an infant suffers head trauma, oxygen deprivation, or inflammation of the brain for other reasons, it can result in long-term brain damage. While the numbers are difficult to pin down exactly, it is estimated that about 9 million of 15 million premature infants struggle with lifelong effects of brain injuries, which can result in cerebral palsy, epilepsy, or other impairments and health issues.
There is good news reported by researchers regarding the mitigation of long-term brain damage that often follows premature birth. Researchers have identified a specific type of immune cell in the brain that is implicated in causing brain damage in premature babies. Ordinarily, these immune cells help build a baby’s brain, but premature birth and some of its associated conditions (such as infection) may make them overactive and alter how the cells function, causing them to harm the brain rather than to help it.
Researchers believe that by selectively killing these cells once they over activate, they can reduce the resulting brain damage. Initial experiments on animal models have been encouraging. The hope is that a drug can be developed either to kill these cells selectively or to dampen down their activity, so that they remain helpful to the developing brain.
We will keep watching to see how this new development might change the lives of premature infants with brain injuries.
Legal Claims after a Brain Injury
Birth can be traumatic for babies - especially premature babies, who are less well prepared for the dramatic change in environment between the womb and the outside world. When a medical professional makes a mistake or error in judgment, it can increase the risk of serious birth injuries, such as a brain injury. Some possible medical errors that can lead to birth-related brain injuries include:
- Improperly using forceps or a vacuum extractor
- Forcing a baby’s head so it gets caught in the pelvis or birth canal
- Allowing labor to continue for too long
- Not ordering C-sections for high-risk pregnancies
- Not monitoring vital signs of the mother and baby
- Not responding if the baby shows signs of possible distress
Doctors and nurses should know how to provide proper care - even during high-risk pregnancies - that prevents injuries to the mother or child whenever possible. When medical professionals fail to meet the required standard of care, they can be held liable for birth injuries and the costs of treating those injuries. If a premature baby needs special treatment to prevent long-term impairments from preventable brain injuries, the parents should not be responsible for the medical expenses. It is important for parents in this situation to learn about their legal rights and to take the necessary steps to obtain compensation for all of their losses and those of their child.
Contact an Ohio Birth Injury Lawyer for More Information
If your child suffered an injury during your pregnancy, labor, or delivery, you and your baby may be entitled to compensation. At The Eisen Law Firm, we are dedicated to holding negligent healthcare providers accountable and know how to get our clients the settlement or jury verdict they deserve. To schedule a free case evaluation with a birth injury attorney in Ohio, call our office today at 216-687-0900 or contact us online.