Birth injuries can range from mild to severe, depending on the type of the injury and what part of the baby’s body is affected. Infant bleeding of the brain, better known as a brain hemorrhage or intracranial hemorrhage, is a type of disorder that can be caused by birth injury for a variety of reasons, but must be treated immediately to ensure the best possible outcome.
What Exactly is Infant Brain Hemorrhage?
A brain hemorrhage is the name for a severe kind of bleeding in the brain. The bleeding of the brain is caused by a stroke which bursts a blood vessel and causes the blood to flood the brain. When this kind of flooding happens, brain cells die.
What Causes Infant Brain Hemorrhage?
Brain hemorrhages can happen to anyone at any time. Typical causes of brain hemorrhages include: head trauma, high blood pressure, aneurysm, blood vessel abnormalities, amyloid angiopathy (abnormal blood vessels usually plaguing older patients), blood disorders, liver disease, or brain tumors.
If your infant has a brain hemorrhage due to a birth injury, it’ may have been caused if the baby was dropped just after delivery, blunt force trauma to the pregnant belly or to the newborn’s head, or it may be due to high blood pressure in the mother passed down to the baby.
Although rare, the use of birth-assisted tools during delivery can lead to hemorrhaging. An infant’s head and skull are extremely fragile, so physicians must ensure that tools such as forceps or a vacuum-extraction tool is used as carefully as possible. Improper and/or forceful pulling when using the tools can create damage to the baby’s brain that can last a lifetime.
What are the Symptoms of Infant Brain Hemorrhage?
Sometimes it’s easier to assess the symptoms of a brain hemorrhage in an adult than it is to an infant. Some adults may express a problem with dizziness, difficulty speaking, changes in vision, or a severe headache. Infants can’t communicate symptoms like that. What you can look for, however, is difficulty swallowing, lethargy, loss of consciousness, nausea or vomiting, weakness in an arm or leg, and seizures.
What Tests Can Diagnose a Hemorrhage?
The best tests for your child are a head CT scan and an MRI. Both can provide medical imaging for the brain, seeing where exactly the bleeding is effecting the dying blood cells, and where the original blood vessel burst. From there, doctors know better where to conduct the brain surgery to close off the hemorrhage, stop the bleeding, and to keep other brain cells from dying.
Could a Hemorrhage Have Been Prevented?
If the brain hemorrhage happened after blunt force trauma or any related medical mistake, it canalmost always be prevented. Unless your baby is the victim of a rare genetic mutation that involves abnormal brain cells, blood disease, or liver disease, it is the physician’s responsibility to treat hypertension in the mother and the baby, and no one should hit or drop an infant.
How Do You Treat a Hemorrhage?
A hemorrhage is typically treated brain surgery. Surgery is important to close off the hemorrhage, stop the bleeding, and to keep other brain cells from dying. While no parent wants their infant to go into emergency brain surgery, your baby may die without it.