Brain Damage at Birth – How to Tell if Your Baby is Affected

As a new parent, you naturally want your baby to be healthy. However, babies and infants are more susceptible to being injured because they have not fully developed as an adult has. Brain damage in babies can be caused by multiple reasons during and before birth. Some factors are completely preventable. Common causes of brain damage before and during birth include detachment of the placenta from the uterine wall, infections, and/or lack of oxygen.

Signs of Brain Injury

Signs of a possible brain injury may appear shortly after the baby’s birth. These signs are easily detected because the baby may not be crying, making sounds, or moving. The baby could also have blue coloration in his or her skin. Often, signs of a brain injury do not appear until much later, however. Signs that may appear later are:

  • Failure to meet developmental milestones
  • Inability to make eye contact or track with eyes
  • Problems with speech
  • Muscle weakness or lack of coordination
  • Inability to recognize people or objects

Other problems may not be apparent until your child starts school. Learning problems, inability to relate or get along with other children, and/or falling behind their peers in development are all signs of a possible brain injury.

Recognizing Signs and Taking Action

Once the signs of possible brain damage have been recognized and identified, parents will want to know how the injury could have happened and if it could have been prevented. A complete copy of the medical records of the mother and child during the pregnancy and delivery will be necessary in order to determine if a prenatal condition existed that, if untreated, could have caused damage to the unborn baby. Actions by medical personnel during labor and delivery could also lead to injury to the baby. These might include failing to properly monitor the baby’s condition, failing to recognize warning signs, and actual physical damage to the baby during delivery.

New York law allows an exception to the usual statutes of limitation for personal injury actions when the injured person is a child. Nevertheless, the more time that has passed since the injury, the more difficult it may become to collect the evidence necessary to prove malpractice.

Talk to a personal injury attorney as soon as you suspect that your child may have suffered brain damage due to medical malpractice. The attorneys at Mirman, Markovits & Landau, P.C. have many years of experience with these types of cases and are available any time for a free consultation. Call us at 212-227-4000 or visit our website for more information.