Understanding Infant Brain Damage


Traumaticbraininjury2010According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Brain Injury Association of America (BIA), one of the leading causes of permanent disability or death in newborns and toddlers is traumatic brain injury. Brain damage can be caused by difficulties during the birthing process or from a doctor’s negligence during delivery. It is important to understand the symptoms of infant brain damage in order to help your child to the best of your ability.

Signs of Brain Damage

Signs of brain damage in infants can be detected just after birth. While not always present in infants who have brain damage, some of the more common symptoms that appear shortly after birth are:

  • Too large forehead
  • Spine that is abnormally shaped
  • Abnormal facial features
  • Neck stiffness
  • Troubles sleeping
  • Crying excessively
  • Feeding issues
  • Fussiness without cause

Developmental Delays

Some symptoms of brain damage are not immediately evident. Some signs of traumatic brain injury are apparent later as the child begins to develop. These may present as cognitive, physical, perceptual, emotional and behavioral delays. A pediatrician will be able to tell you if your child is developing at a normal rate.

Diagnosing Brain Damage

Diagnosing brain damage is typically done by an MRI or CT head scan, along with recognizing the symptoms. Medical images of the brain can show hemorrhages or skull fractures. A CT scan is not often performed on children under 2 years of age.


Different methods of treatment may be offered, depending on the extent of the injury and the disabilities, if any, that are present. Some treatment options may include surgery, rehabilitative therapies, acute treatments, medication, and adaptive devices.

The ultimate prognosis for brain damage depends on how severely the child is affected. Your child’s medical team will determine the best course of action for his or her specific diagnosis and needs.

If you believe that your child was injured at the hands of a doctor during or immediately after the birthing process, please reach out to our team. We are here to help you and your family move forward. Call now for a free case evaluation.

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