What is a Traumatic Brain Injury? Portland Attorneys Discuss Traumatic Brain Injuries in Infants
The CDC states that a TBI is a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that interferes with the normal functioning of the brain. The severity of a TBI spans from mild to severe, with mild TBIs, often commonly known as concussions, causing temporary changes in mental status or consciousness. On the other hand, severe TBIs can result in memory loss or unconsciousness. The signs and symptoms of TBI looks different in everyone, and the range of its impacts vary immensely. Many of its impacts are short-lived, while others are lifelong battles. Our Portland attorneys discuss traumatic brain injuries in infants and explain how we can help you with the challenges your child now faces because he or she was a victim of a TBI from a birth injury.
TBI Statistics in the United States
Traumatic Brain Injury (“TBI”) is a leading cause of death and disability in the United States. TBI is also the primary cause of disability and death in children ages 0-4 years. Sadly, it is approximated that 145,000 children, between the ages of 0-19, live with long-lasting mental, physical, and behavioral impacts from a TBI they suffered. Not only do TBI victims have memory, movement, vision, hearing, depression, and other physical and mental conditions, but these changes ultimately impact their families and the communities the victims live in.
How Do Traumatic Brain Injuries Occur in Infants? Portland Attorneys Discuss Traumatic Brain Injuries in Infants
Infants who have TBIs differ from adults who have TBIs in that the TBI is an evolving condition because infants’ brains are still constantly changing and developing. On the other hand, for adults, a TBI is a one-time hit. This can be tricky for infants and the young because, as their brains develop, new symptoms and complications can arise over the span of years. The impairments that arise are often in the parts of the brain that were developing at the time the TBI occurred.
Often times, an infant suffers a TBI as a result of a birth injury which occurred during delivery. More than half of the times, the reason for an infant TBI is asphyxiation, or oxygen deprivation to the brain. This can happen from the baby getting stuck in the birth canal; problems with the umbilical cord or placenta; or the mother having an illness. Other reasons why infant TBI occurs include:
- Overly pressured use of forceps on the infant’s head
- Poorly timed or performed C-Section
- Excessively long labor
- Overly aggressive use of vacuum extractors
Signs and Symptoms of TBI in Infants
Infant TBIs are akin to adult TBIs in that the damage signs and symptoms range from mild to severe. Likewise, the TBIs also can induce cognitive impairments, seizures, and mental and physical conditions, such as behavioral changes. Unlike adult TBIs, however, cerebral palsy and developmental delays are signs of infant TBIs. Other TBI signs amongst infants include:
- Difficulty paying attention
- Eating or nursing habit changes
- Loss of interest or changes in playtime
- Sleeping changes
- Constant crying and other signs of irritability
- Loss of balance
- Language changes, including loss of previously learned language skills
- Loss of previously learned skills, such as toilet training
- Light or noise sensitivity
- Loss of balance, such as unsteady walking
If you are wondering whether your baby has Cerebral Palsy, as a result of a TBI, signs include:
Younger than 6 months:
- Feels stiff or floppy
- When picked up, legs get stiff, cross, or scissor
- Head lags when picked up while on his or her back
- When cradled in your arms, he or she appears to overextend his back and neck. This makes it seem like he or she is constantly pushing away from you.
Older than 6 months:
- Does not roll over, either way
- Cannot bring hands together
- Difficulty bringing hands to mouth
- Reaches out with only one hand, while the other hand is fisted
Older than 10 months of age:
- Lopsided crawling—pushes off with one hand and leg, while dragging opposite hand and leg
- Scooting on buttocks, instead of crawling on all fours
- Hops on knees, instead of crawling on all fours
- Does not crawl on all fours
Every baby presents unique signs and symptoms of TBI, and their treatment plan should be just as unique. Contact our Portland Attorneys to discuss traumatic brain injuries in infants and how we can help you with your child’s TBI case.
Call Our Law Firm for Help Today
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice contact the Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form. We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.
Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles, St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.
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