What if baby looks fine following a brain injury, are you all in the clear with things? To state the question another way, if you have been told that your baby has suffered a brain injury at birth, just because the baby looks “fine” a few weeks later, should you continue to ask the hard questions of your doctors and continue to advocate for your baby? The short answer is yes, you should always continue to get as much information early on regarding your child’s condition.
I am taking the time to speak with you on this topic because I had a conversation with a father who took a similar path in just looking at “how well” his child looked to him and mom, and used that as a gauge for further action. Because of how brain injuries work, sometimes a baby will “look fine” early on and this may not be the case. In this article I will discuss the problems with just looking at “looks” when trying to understand these issues, and what to look at from a medical legal standpoint.
BABY LOOKS FINE FOLLOWING A BRAIN INJURY…
As an attorney who handles birth injury cases, babies can look completely different when suffering a brain injury. For some babies, it will seem as if nothing traumatic happened to the baby. However, for some other babies, it is clear that the baby has suffered a traumatic brain injury. One of the main areas of concern for parents following being told that their baby has suffered a traumatic brain injury at birth is what part of the brain has been injured and how will this injury manifest itself? This is an important question because it essentially gets to the child’s diagnosis and possible treatment. When certain areas of the brain are injured, depending on the severity of the injury, different physical and cognitive manifestations will occur.
Before I leave this section, I want to remind you that a baby can be resilient when dealing with a brain injury. One of the crucial factors that these types of cases generate is how severe is the injury to the brain? The severity of the injury will help parents understand what may present ahead for their baby. Doctors can use scans and other testing measures to help get an understanding of not only the areas of the brain that have been injured, but how the injury might present for your baby.
WHY DO SOME FAMILIES CONTACT A BIRTH INJURY ATTORNEY?
“Mr. Boston, if the hospital is responsible for my baby’s brain injury, why are they not helping me with the cost of treatments and future care?” The last statement is one of the factors a lot of families say cause them to reach out for help. The cost of medical care in America can be expensive and when a certified life care planner assesses the needs of a baby, especially with a cerebral palsy diagnosis, from birth to old age, the costs can reach the millions.
Another reason a family might contact a birth injury attorney is to help with answers. For some families, doctors and hospitals will, as one parent told me, “hide the ball” as to how the injury occurred. A reason such as genetics may be given as the cause of the birth injury and this may not always be the case. In some instances, a birth injury attorney may reveal that the reason for the baby’s hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) diagnosis is due to a failure to diagnosis the baby’s fetal distress, and to treat it accordingly (moving to an emergency C-section in some cases).
Because Maryland law requires the use of medical experts to give opinions as to the standard of care, causation of the injury and damages, a birth injury attorney can help get the required experts needed to asses and review the case. For some parents, this can be invaluable, as it can help lead to answers for their family.
HAS YOUR BABY BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH A BRAIN INJURY?
Hopefully now you have a better understanding of the question what if baby looks fine following a brain injury and can see the important issues this situation presents. If your baby has been injured at birth and you have questions, pick up the phone and give us a call. We speak with families who have children who have cerebral palsy diagnoses, HIE, and other birth injuries. This is what we do. I can be reached at 301-850-4832.
Marcus B. Boston, Esq.
2 Wisconsin Circle, Suite 700
Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815
1-833-4 BABY HELP