Intracranial hemorrhage, a bursting of a blood vessel or artery in the brain, is a type of stroke that can affect both adults and children. No matter the age of the person, an intracranial hemorrhage can potentially be very dangerous because if a large amount of blood leaks from the ruptured blood vessel, it will increase the pressure within the skull, damage and compress areas of the brain, and possibly disrupt blood flow to other parts of the brain. All of these things can potentially cause cell death, permanent brain damage, and death of the person.
Recent research on newborn babies has revealed that many babies suffer some intracranial hemorrhaging or bleeding, but it is often very minor and has no serious long term effects on the baby. However, the more severe type of intracranial hemorrhage causes devastating effects to a baby’s brain and health, so doctors and medical staff must be vigilant during a delivery and watch for any potential causes of intracranial hemorrhages.
Traumatic Intracranial Hemorrhage Causes
Most intracranial hemorrhages that occur during delivery of a baby are due to physical trauma and injury. As the infant is being born, its head is squeezed through the birth canal and the pelvic bones of the mother. This pressure can cause compression, skull fractures, and damage to the brain. During a normal delivery with few complications, the baby’s skull can typically endure these pressures without damaging the brain or causing a hemorrhage, but there is greater risk during longer and more difficult deliveries.
There are a number of different factors that may cause the delivery to be more difficult and increase the risk of brain hemorrhaging. Some of these factors include: the age of the mother, whether it is a multiple pregnancy, the size of the fetus, cephalopelvic disproportion, and a prolapsed umbilical cord. Though most intracranial hemorrhages during birth are very minor, physical trauma and injury during birth should be avoided as much as possible.
Intracranial Hemorrhage Causes Related to Blood Pressure
Of all intracranial hemorrhage causes, blood pressure may be the most common cause among adults. With that being said, it can also be serious risk during the delivery, if the mother and infant have high blood pressure. When someone has high blood pressure, this puts more stress on the veins and arteries in the brain, and this can cause them to weaken and eventually burst, causing a brain hemorrhage.
There are a number of blood pressure problems that a mother may suffer during a pregnancy including chronic hypertension and preeclampsia. In some cases, the developing fetus may also have a high blood pressure, and this can increase the risk of intracranial hemorrhaging. Blood and bleeding disorders can also cause hemorrhaging in an infant’s brain during delivery. Some of these disorders and diseases include anemia, and hemophilia.
Genetic Intracranial Hemorrhage Causes
When a fetus is developing, sometimes the blood vessels in the brain develop abnormally. This can cause them to be too small, too weak, or have other problems that increase the risk of brain hemorrhages. Developmental abnormalities could be caused by genetic conditions or genetic defects. They may also be caused by issues that occurred during development such as hypoxia, maternal infection, or problems with the placenta.
Intracranial Hemorrhage Causes Related to Medical Care
In some instances, an infant’s intracranial hemorrhage may have been caused by the conduct of the physician and medical staff. If the doctor is not delivering the baby with care, the baby’s head may be experience elevated levels of stress and compression, leading to skull fractures, brain damage, and hemorrhaging. In addition, tools such as forceps and vacuum extraction but more pressure on the baby’s skull and can potentially cause intracranial hemorrhaging as well.