When Brain Damage Occurs from Hypoglycemia in a Newborn

One of the possible complications of hypoglycemia in a newborn (low blood sugar levels) is brain damage. If hypoglycemia treatment is not effective, this damage may result. However, it could also be caused by a failure to diagnose the condition, a delay in treatment, stopping treatment too soon or not even providing treatment. 

In such cases, the doctor who failed to diagnose the condition or who improperly addressed the condition may be considered negligent. If this proves to be the case, parents may consult an Ohio brain injury lawyer about filing a medical malpractice claim.

What types of brain damage can occur with hypoglycemia in a newborn? 

Occipital brain injury is one type. This is the part of the brain that allows for visual capability. When there is damage, it can cause a variety of perception problems, such as visual impairment. Another complication of this brain damage is epilepsy. This brain disorder can be severe, disabling or even life-threatening.

Seizures can cause: 

  • muscle spasms;
  • convulsions; and
  • may even lead to unconsciousness.

Although there may be treatments that help manage epilepsy, if there are ongoing seizures it may cause permanent brain damage. This could affect a child’s behavior and emotions.

One British study published in Pediatrics in 2008 included 35 term infants with symptomatic neonatal hypoglycemia and an early brain MRI scan. Researchers found that 94 percent of infants in a study had white matter abnormalities. They concluded, “White matter injury was not confined to the posterior regions; hemorrhage, middle cerebral artery infarction, and basal ganglia/thalamic abnormalities were seen, and cortical involvement was common.”

Treatment for Newborn Hypoglycemia 

Keep in mind that sometimes treatment appears to work and blood sugar levels may return to normal. But sometimes they will start to drop again, which is why ongoing monitoring might be necessary.

Parents who suspect that brain damage from hypoglycemia is related to complications because of medical malpractice may consult Mellino Robenalt LLC at 440-333-3800 for legal help. A lawyer may refer to a medical expert who can testify regarding how a doctor handled hypoglycemia in the newborn.