Intracranial Hemorrhage

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Intracranial Hemorrhage Caused by Birth Injuries

What you should know if your child suffered bleeding in the skull

An intracranial hemorrhage is bleeding inside of the skull. 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 three common types1 of brain hemorrhage that can happen to newborns:

Primary Subarachnoid Hemorrhage. A subarachnoid hemorrhage is the most common type of hemorrhage in newborns. 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. 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.

Cerebral hemorrhage. These are actually strokes which cause the blood vessels to rupture.

Bleeding in the skull as a result of medical malpractice

Both types of hemorrhage can be caused during the delivery process. Some of the more common causes are:

  • Negligent use of forceps of vacuum extractors
  • Excessive contractions caused by medications like Pitocin
  • Prolonged labor
  • Undiagnosed injuries caused to the fetus during development
  • Skull fractures
  • Improper delivery techniques
  • Undiagnosed macrosomia (the baby is too big to be delivered safely)
  • Undiagnosed cephalopelvic disproportion
  • Failure to recognize that the baby is in the wrong position for childbirth
  • Undiagnosed HIE, or other forms of oxygen deprivation

Potential risks associated with brain bleeds

If the brain bleed is caught and treated quickly, there is a very good chance that your child will sustain no lasting, permanent injuries. If, however, the birth injury which caused the hemorrhage was severe, or if the brain bleed is left untreated, your child may have developmental or cognitive delays, physical impairments, or conditions like cerebral palsy.

  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

These are many of the injuries our clients’ children have sustained

Cognitive, Developmental and Intellectual DisabilitiesInfant Spina Bifida
Brachial Plexus Injuries, Klumpke’s Palsy and Erb’s PalsyInfant Spinal Cord Damage
Cerebral PalsyInfant Subconjunctival Hemorrhage
Hypoxic Ischemic EncephalopathyNeonatal Hyperbilirubinemia
Intracranial HemorrhageKernicterus
Shoulder DystociaNeonatal Stroke and Infant Brain Ischemia
Epidural Birth InjuriesPersistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
Horner’s SyndromeVacuum Extraction Injury
HydrocephalusWrongful Birth
Infant Bell’s PalsyUmbilical Cord Prolapse
Infant Broken Bones and Skull FracturesVacuum Extraction and Forceps Injuries
Infant Cervical Dystonia / Infant Torticollis / Infant Dystonia DisorderMeconium Stained Amniotic Fluid
Infant Meningitis

Helping families move forward after a traumatic birth injury

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.