Fetal Brain Injury
Salt Lake City, Tooele and Price, Utah
Birth injuries of any kind can be devastating to a family, but this is especially true in the case of a fetal brain injury. A child suffering from a fetal brain injury can be seriously disabled and require a lifetime of special care. Some, sadly, are stillborn.
A fetal brain injury, also called a birth-related brain injury, occurs when a baby’s brain experiences some form of damage during a mother’s pregnancy, labor or delivery.
In some cases, these types of injuries are a direct result of a medical mistake or poor performance on behalf of the healthcare professionals who care for a pregnant woman and oversee the labor and delivery.
The Important Role of Oxygen
A large number of fetal brain injury occurrences are associated with an insufficient supply of oxygen to the baby during labor and delivery. When a baby’s brain does not receive enough oxygen, it becomes permanently damaged.
Cerebral palsy and hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) are two fetal brain injuries that have been linked to oxygen deprivation.
Other common factors related to fetal brain injury are excessive pressure on or a blow to the baby’s head.
Causes of Fetal Brain Injury
Fetal brain injury can be caused by multitude of factors, including but not limited to:
- Improperly prescribing or administering drugs to the mother during pregnancy or labor
- Delaying the decision to perform an emergency cesarean section (or opting to not perform a necessary cesarean section)
- Failure to monitor and respond to signs of fetal distress
- Use of excessive force during delivery
- Failure to recognize a compressed umbilical cord
- Miscalculating a baby’s size, leading to the baby being lodged in the birth canal
- Failure to administer oxygen properly to a newborn in need
- Failure to diagnose and treat pregnancy, labor or delivery complications immediately
- Faulty fetal monitoring equipment
- Failure to recognize placenta abnormalities
- Failure to detect and/or treat infections in the child or mother
- Dropping a newborn after delivery
Regardless of cause, fetal brain injury can result in conditions such as:
- Delayed motor, physical or mental development
- Mental retardation
- Eating or swallowing difficulties
- Vision, hearing or speech problems
- Hyperactivity or behavior disorders