The area between the brain and the thin tissues covering the brain is called the subarachnoid space. When there is bleeding in this area, it is known as a subarachnoid hemorrhage. This type of serious injury usually occurs when an elderly person falls and strikes his or her head. But, newborns can suffer from subarachnoid hemorrhage at birth, especially during difficult labor.
During any delivery, the infant's head goes through a tremendous amount of pressure passing through the birth canal (image shown below). In this vulnerable moment, injuries happen.
If your child has suffered subarachnoid hemorrhage during birth as the result of incompetence or negligence on the part of a doctor or medical professional, your child may be entitled to payment for current and future medical expenses and other damages. The experienced Omaha birth injury lawyers at Cullan & Cullan LLC can help you better understand your family's legal rights and options.
The Risk of Infant Brain Bleeding
In many labor and deliveries, it is quite common for the infant to have bruising and swelling to the head. This is because of the pressure exerted as the baby passes through the birth canal. Usually, bruising or swelling goes away naturally after a few days without any medical intervention.
However, in prolonged labors or cases where the baby has a large head or the mother has a small pelvis, there is the risk of a subarachnoid hemorrhage. In these cases, it is crucial for healthcare professionals to closely monitor the baby for any type of fetal distress. An emergency C-section might be needed to minimize possible brain injuries including subarachnoid hemorrhage.
Severe head trauma in newborns can also happen when medical professionals improperly use forceps or vacuum extractions during a difficult delivery. Improper use of delivery tools can cause injuries and bleed inside the skull. Subarachnoid hemorrhage is among the most common types of bleeding. This injury is considered a type of stroke, which could lead to severe lifelong disabilities, or even death.
Symptoms in newborns suffering subarachnoid hemorrhage include:
- Abnormal neurological exams
Diagnosis and Treatment of Subarachnoid Hemorrhage
There are a number of different tests a doctor should consider when a newborn exhibits signs of subarachnoid hemorrhage. A CT scan could be used to monitor the blood vessels of the brain. A transcranial Doppler ultrasound can also be used to monitor blood flow in the arteries of the brain.
Treatment can prove complicated because newborns are extremely vulnerable. Surgery may be needed to remove blood clots or relieve pressure on the brain.
Protecting Your Legal Rights in Nebraska
Brain bleeding often results from negligence during the labor process. If your child has suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage, it is possible that he or she will also be diagnosed with cerebral palsy, seizures or developmental disabilities that could last a lifetime.
Don't hesitate to research your legal options. Financial support may be available for your child's medical expenses, permanent injuries, disabilities, and pain, and suffering. Contact us at (402) 882-7080 to schedule a no-cost consultation and case evaluation with a dedicated birth injury attorney.