Birth Injury Lawyers Assisting Clients in Ontario with Intracranial Hemorrhage Cases
Parents should not have to worry about whether their infant will suffer a debilitating birth injury during labor and delivery, yet birth injuries occur much more often than they should. In some situations, birth injuries are not serious or life-threatening, and the baby can heal relatively quickly and lead a normal life. In other cases, however, birth injuries lead to permanent disabilities, and in some cases, death.
An intracranial hemorrhage case, like other birth injury claims, is a type of medical malpractice claim. If your infant suffered an intracranial hemorrhage during labor and delivery, you may be able to file a birth injury lawsuit. You should discuss your options with an Ontario intracranial hemorrhage lawyer as soon as possible. The advocates at Preszler Injury Lawyers have been assisting clients in Ontario for more than six decades, and we are committed to helping new parents seek damages in birth injury cases.
What is an Intracranial Hemorrhage?
An intracranial hemorrhage is a medical term for “acute bleeding inside your skull or brain,” according to HealthLine. Sometimes people refer to intracranial hemorrhages as brain bleeds, or bleeding of the brain. For most individuals, an intracranial hemorrhage should be treated as an emergency situation that requires immediate medical attention. There are four different types of intracranial hemorrhage, including:
- Epidural hematoma: This is a type of hematoma (or pooling or clotting of blood) that occurs outside of a blood vessel and typically results from trauma to the head. In most cases, an epidural hematoma occurs after a skull fracture. In infants, an epidural hematoma may result from the improper use of forceps or other devices during birth.
- Subdural hematoma: This is a type of hematoma that occurs on the surface of a person’s brain. Like an epidural hematoma, this type of injury commonly results from trauma to the brain, but it can also result from the mother’s infection or the use of blood thinners during pregnancy. Subdural hematomas commonly are linked to cerebral palsy.
- Subarachnoid hemorrhage: This is a type of bleeding in the brain that occurs between the brain itself and the tissues that cover the brain. This type of injury results from trauma to the head as well as from other factors such as an aneurysm during birth.
- Intracerebral hemorrhage: This is a type of bleeding that occurs inside a person’s brain and is not typically associated with birth injuries.
Signs and Symptoms of Intracranial Hemorrhage and Brain Bleeds
While not all infants show the same signs and symptoms of intracranial hemorrhage, the Merck Manual lists the following as common signs of intracranial hemorrhage in a newborn baby:
- Apnea (or the temporary stopping of breathing);
- Noticeable lethargy; and/or
- Abnormal neurological examination.
When a pediatrician or an obstetrician suspects an intracranial hemorrhage, she or he should immediately conduct a cranial imaging study, which may include an ultrasound, a CT scan, or an MRI. Other more common signs may include a fever, confusion, or sudden changes in the baby’s mood.
Who is Responsible for an Intracranial Hemorrhage Injury During Birth?
Various parties may be responsible for an intracranial hemorrhage birth injury, including but not limited to:
- Obstetric nurse(s);
- Hospital where the birth injury occurred;
- Birth center where the injury occurred;
- Pharmacist filling prescription medication; and
- Other doctor, nurse, or staff person involved in the labor and delivery process.
Causes of Intracranial Hemorrhage During Labor and Delivery
There are many different causes of intracranial hemorrhage, and in most situations these severe birth injuries result from a healthcare provider’s negligence. Examples of causes of brain bleeds include but are not limited to:
- Hypoxia, or oxygen deprivation during birth;
- Pressure exerted on the baby’s head during labor with forceps;
- Blood pressure various; and
- Hematologic disorders, such as hemophilia or vitamin K deficiencies.
Filing Your Claim Within the Statute of Limitations
Under the Limitations Act, personal injuries come with a two-year statute of limitations. Birth injury claims, like other personal injury lawsuits, usually must be filed within two years from the date that the injury occurred or two years from the date that a reasonable person would have discovered the injury.
Potential plaintiffs should not wait to file a claim in the event that the limitations period runs out. Once you know that your child has suffered a birth injury, it is important to contact an Ontario birth injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Understanding Damages in Intracranial Hemorrhage Cases
In an intracranial hemorrhage birth injury claim, compensatory damages may be possible under Canadian law. Compensatory damages compensate a plaintiff for losses, such as:
- Cost of medical care that has already been provided;
- Cost of future medical care, including therapy, care from a support attendant or nurse, surgery bills, and doctor’s visits;
- Cost of medical supplies and future medical supplies, including equipment like wheelchairs or lift systems, medications, and even home renovations in cases in which the child’s birth injury resulted in a physical disability; and
- Pain and suffering experienced by the child.
Compensatory damages are divided into two categories: pecuniary or financial losses, and non-pecuniary losses. Pecuniary losses are those that have an objective dollar figure or amount, while pecuniary losses can be more subjective in nature and may not have the same “value” for everyone in a given situation.
Contact an Ontario Intracranial Hemorrhage Birth Injury Lawyer
When parents learn that their child has suffered a debilitating birth injury, the news can be devastating. Not only will the parents need to grapple with the possibility that their child will never be able to live a normal and healthy life due to a doctor’s negligence, but the parents will also have to contend with extensive medical bills for the ongoing treatment of the baby’s injury. Families who are affected by serious birth injuries deserve to seek compensation for their losses.
An experienced Ontario intracranial hemorrhage birth injury lawyer at our firm can speak with you today about your options for moving forward with a claim. Contact Preszler Injury Lawyers to learn more about the services we provide to clients in London, Toronto, and throughout Ontario.