Attorney Jeffrey Killino is an experienced birth-injury lawyer who understands the implications associated with childbirth and delivery, including those that involve infant hematoma. When medical malpractice is the cause of this preventable injury, compensation may be obtainable in a medical malpractice action from those responsible for an infant’s hematoma injury.
Experienced Attorneys Who Know Birth Injuries
Birth-injury Jeffrey Killino is well-acquainted with the medical as well as legal issues related to infant hematomas. A hematoma is caused by a collection of blood in the space between the outer and middle layers of the covering of the brain. Infants are more susceptible to subdural hematomas than toddlers and older children because an infant’s brain has more room to move around in the skull when the skull is shaken, hit, or bruised. Thus, infant hematoma may easily occur when the baby’s head suffers a traumatic injury.
Certain actions taken during childbirth, however, can also cause an infant hematoma. Delivery devices such as vacuum extractors, both metal and plastic, may cause infant hematoma. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received reports of numerous deaths and serious injuries among newborns whose delivery was assisted by such vacuum devices.
Infant hematomas can also be caused by the build-up of pressure during labor and the subsequent release of that pressure as the baby comes through the birth canal. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), most subdural hematomas in newborns result from a difficult delivery.
The seriousness of an infant hematoma depends on its size. Smaller hematomas are not always considered to be serious, and blood in the brain from such a hematoma is generally absorbed during the weeks following birth. Larger hematomas, however, may result in bleeding that does not subside. In such cases, if the bleeding is not stopped and blood is not drained from the brain, death may occur.
Common signs of Infant Hematoma include the following:
- Diffuse head swelling
- Increased respiration rate
- Increased intracranial pressure
Legal Liability for Infant-hematoma Injuries
The negligence of an obstetrician or other medical personnel during a child’s delivery may result in an infant’s subdural hematoma. Negligent care of a mother and child during the mother’s pregnancy may also result in conditions that put an infant at greater risk of sustaining a hematoma injury. When any such actions are found to constitute negligence on the part of the medical professional in question, that person may be found liable for the injuries sustained by the child as a result of that negligence in a medical malpractice action.
Negligent Delivery of Child
When a child’s delivery becomes delayed or prolonged as a result of certain complications, an obstetrician may elect to use procedures and/or devices to aid the delivery of the child. Under certain circumstances, both the decision to use such procedures or devices and the manner in which they are used may be determined to constitute negligence on the part of the medical personnel involved.
If, for example, an obstetrician or other medical professional who is assisting in a child’s birth decides to use forceps or vacuum extraction to aid in an infant’s delivery when the use of such a device is not indicated, the decision may be found to constitute actionable negligence if the use of the device resulted in the infant’s hematoma injury. Even if the decision to use the device is found to fall within the exercise of reasonable care under the circumstances, the manner in which such a device is used may be found to be a cause of a hematoma injury.
Negligence Care during Pregnancy
An infant’s childbirth hematoma injury may also result from lack of proper care of the mother and/or child during the mother’s pregnancy. Any conditions or complications that lead to a difficult delivery that are found to have resulted from a physician’s negligence during the mother’s pregnancy may be found, in certain instances, to be a cause of an infant’s childbirth hematoma injury.
If, for example, a fetus weighs more than average for its gestational age, a doctor’s failure to diagnose the causes of the fetus’s large size and/or to properly manage the condition may lead to a difficult delivery and resultant decision to use assistance devices that result in a hematoma to the infant.
A physician’s negligent monitoring and management of the mother’s weight and or diabetes may have a similar result. Either of these conditions in the mother may lead to a larger fetus and, thus, a more difficult delivery. The negligence of the physician in allowing the risk to increase without proper attempts at management of those risks may be found to constitute a cause of the infant’s childbirth hematoma and resultant liability for the infant’s injuries on the part of the physician.
If your infant sustained a subdural hematoma during childbirth as a result of the negligence of medical professionals, you may be entitled to compensation from those responsible. Contact birth-injury and infant-hematoma lawyer Jeffrey Killino at (877) 875-2927 or fill out and submit the email form below for a no-cost evaluation of your case.