Intracranial Hemorrhage

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Injuries: Intracranial Hemorrhage

An intracranial hemorrhage is bleeding inside of the skull. It can be caused by negligent use of forceps or a vacuum extractor, or for any myriad reasons. The bleeding can range from very mild to severe, which is a dangerous situation. Severe intracranial bleeding can lead to the death of red blood cells in your baby’s brain, as they are literally flooded with blood.

There are two common types1 of intracranial hemorrhage that can happen to newborns:

Primary Subarachnoid Hemorrhage. A subarachnoid hemorrhage is the most common type of hemorrhage in newborns. In babies that are full-term at birth, it is usually caused by an injury during baby’s delivery. Some babies show no signs of an injury to the head. Others may be very fussy, and show signs of seizure activity that lasts a very short amount of time when they are 2 days old. Baby’s pediatrician may order a CT scan, or MRI of the brain to check for any bleeding in baby’s head. In some cases, a spinal tap may be done to find out the exact cause of the seizures.

Subdural Hemorrhage. A subdural hemorrhage (bleeding) is another type of injury that can occur. It can occur due to an injury to baby’s head during delivery. In some babies, it occurs when there is no injury to baby’s head. It may be caused by the force of mom’s contractions pushing baby’s head against her pelvic bones, causing pressure to be put on the vessels inside of the skull. The bleeding is caused by tears of the veins between the surface of baby’s brain and the skull (between the dura and the pia matter). A baby that has a subdural hemorrhage may not have any symptoms during the first few days of life. After the first few days, baby may begin to vomit, have difficulty waking up, become very fussy, and have a seizure. If baby is having symptoms of a possible problem inside of his skull, a MRI or CT scan may be done.

If you or your loved one was seriously injured by an act of medical negligence, Crandall & Pera Law may be able to help. We are a nationally recognized team of medical malpractice and birth injury attorneys serving clients throughout Ohio and Kentucky. To learn more about who we are, or to schedule a consultation with an experienced birth injury attorney, please call 877-955-0020 or fill out our contact form.

  1. Smith, D., & Grover, T. (2016). The Newborn Infant. In Hay, W., Jr., Levin, M., Deterding, R., Abzug, M. (Eds), CURRENT diagnosis & treatment Pediatrics, 23e.  Retrieved from