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Link Between Brain Injuries and Premature Birth

New research has provided insight into why brain injuries commonly occur in prematurely born infants. According to an article published in National Public Radio (NPR), brain damage occurs when an infant is deprived oxygen. Scientists have determined that when oxygen deprivation occurs, the white matter that acts as a "communication highway" between the brain and other parts of the body becomes damaged. Babies at the greatest risk of this type of brain damage are those born prematurely.

Although in many instances, it may not be possible to prevent a premature birth, other times warning signs are present and an early birth may be avoidable, reducing the risk of birth injury. When a doctor or other medical professional fails to take precautions necessary to avoid a premature birth, or follow proper medical procedures following an early delivery, they may be liable for medical malpractice. In fact, oxygen deprivation at birth – even among full-term babies – remains a leading cause of birth trauma and ensuing brain injury, leading to the development of conditions such as cerebral palsy and epilepsy.

In certain instances, where an infant shows signs of fetal distress and lack of oxygen, a birth injury can be prevented by performing an immediate cesarean section. The failure to act quickly may be an instance of medical negligence. Where medical negligence causes a birth injury such as brain damage, the family may be able to recover compensation to pay the often exorbitant medical bills and for a potential life time of care.

For more information or if you believe your child has received a birth injury as the result of medical malpractice, contact the knowledgeable California birth injury lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson for an immediate consultation.

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