Head Trauma in Infants

Baby's_hand.jpg Head trauma accounts for more than 80 percent of death in children over the age of one year. In about 5 percent of situations, the child dies instantly from the trauma. Head injuries are complex, often requiring long stays in the hospital. There exists the need for approximately ten percent of infants requiring long term care with a medical facility after discharge.

Common causes of head injuries in infants and small children include assaults, motor vehicle accidents, child abuse and recreational activities. There can be a combination of primary injuries like scalp wounds, skull fracture, concussion, basilar skull fracture, subarachnoid hemorrhage, subdural hemorrhage and contusions.

There can be any one of the above primary injuries on top of many possible secondary injuries. Among the primary injuries, there can be a scalp injury. It can be overlying a skull fracture, called an open fracture of the skull. Scalp lacerations can be serious, especially in an infant as they can lead to hypotension and shock. A birth injury called the caput succedaneum is when there is a large blood clot between two layers of bone in the scalp. The blood loss is not as much because the bleeding stops at the suture lines.

A skull fracture in an infant can be linear, diastatic, depressed or comminuted. Ninety percent of all fractures are simply linear and may have an overlying laceration. Diastatic fractures have some distance between the fracture ends. There can be cerebrospinal fluid leaking through the laceration. A major blood vessel can cross over the open fracture, yielding a great deal of bleeding.

In a depressed skull fracture, an inner table of bone is pushing in on the brain. This is dangerous because it can damage the fragile brain tissue and can cause bleeding in the brain. This needs to be treated surgically so that the bony table can be at a normal level again. A third of depressed fractures are considered simple, a third cause a laceration of the dura covering the brain and a fourth have cortical lacerations.

A basilar skull fracture happens in up to 14 percent of pediatric head trauma patients. It occurs most whenever there is a blow to the back of the head. Symptoms that follow can include loss of consciousness, seizures and other neurological symptoms. Doctors may find a Battle sign or Raccoon eyes–areas of bruising that are indicative of a basilar skull fracture. Some of these finding occur in up to 10 percent of all cases of basilar skull fracture.

A concussion can occur if the head trauma is mild. Patients often show few signs of neurological damage; however, infants can show somnolence, vomiting and post traumatic seizures. Older children will exhibit post traumatic amnesia of the events after the concussion.

Brain tissue can be contused by the head trauma. This is caused by a direct blow to the head. The most vulnerable areas are the temporal and frontal lobes of the brain. Along with the contusion there can be edema of the brain and increased pressure around the brain which can result in death.

Handling a legal battle due to the death of an infant can be a painful process. It would be good to enlist a compassionate legal office to handle this matter for you. Please feel free to contact the Edward A Smith Law Offices to handle matters of this nature for you.

(Photo Attributed to Portraitlady4306 via Wikimedia Commons)

Client Reviews

  • Me and my wife; had a car accident. We were amazed how easy, professional, friendly attorney Ed Smith is along with his staff. Everybody is amazing. Thank you so much, we are very impressed!
  • Ed Smith and his office team took on a difficult personal injury case on my behalf and for the passenger in my car. Ed is a top- notch attorney. His staff couldn't have been more helpful and kind. No need to look elsewhere. I give Ed Smith my highest recommendation.
  • Ed and Robert have been taking great care of my husband and I for the past 5+ years. They are always there when you have a problem and a quick resolution! Even when the issues have nothing to do with them. They are willing to help ease the pain off your shoulders. They are as good as it gets! Thank you again for everything.
  • Very professional. Great team, staff and service all around. Mr Smith was very honest, straight forward with his advice. He gives the word "attorney" an honest reputation. I will seek his council anytime, and would recommend him at the drop of a dime.
  • I would highly recommend Ed Smith to any friends or family in need of a personal injury attorney. Ed, and his staff, are very caring on top of being very experienced in this field. The staff always keeps you informed of the status of your case and they are always easy to reach by phone.
  • Edward Smith law offices provide competent, thorough, and personable help for victims of personal injury. When you first meet the staff you know you contacted the right office. This law office treats clients like people. I recommend this office to anyone seeking representation regarding personal injury.