Brain injury to preterm infants may cause permanent disability

Saturday February 2, 2013

New Haven, Connecticut parents might well understand the potential dangers associated with injury caused to infants during birth or the period immediately following. A birth injury or the lack of prenatal care may prove devastating. Such risks become graver when the child is born prematurely.

A recent study suggests that there may be more options for the treatment and prevention of long-term injuries, disorders and conditions commonly seen in preterm infants who have suffered birth injuries. The conventional belief is that the low blood flow or lack of oxygen supply to brain of prematurely born babies may kill brain cells and cause disabilities. The study suggests that such damage to brain cells is not irreversible, as previously thought — it only hampers the maturation of cells and does not kill them.

The study indicates that pre term infants may develop lifelong disabilities including cerebral palsy. In 25 to 50 percent of cases, preterm babies may suffer from learning disabilities, attention-deficit disorder and social behavioral problems by the time they reach school age.

A brain injury caused by error during labor or disruption of oxygen or blood flow in a prematurely born babies’ brain may primarily be responsible for long-lasting disabilities or disorders. Doctors need to be highly careful and cautious at the time of birth of such babies or risk a medical malpractice suit.

Additionally, pediatricians should keep a close watch on the development of the infant. The initial few weeks after birth are said to be highly critical to the baby. A lack of attention during this period may devastatingly affect the development and health of the child over the long-term.

If a child in New Haven, Connecticut, sustains an illness or injury at the time of birth or immediately thereafter due to negligence of doctors or concerned medical staff, the parents of the baby have every right to hold the negligent staff liable for the same. Parents can file a civil suit against the errant doctor or medical personnel and seek compensation for medical treatment expenses, permanent disability and other suffering.

Source: Examiner.com, “New research can prevent or reverse serious disabilities in premature babies,” Carola Finch, Jan. 17, 2013

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