Brain ischemia is a type of brain injury that occurs because of reduced blood flow to the brain. Birth injuries and other types of medical negligence can cause brain ischemia. If your child suffered brain damage before, during, or shortly after birth, let an attorney from your state review your case. You may be eligible to hold the doctor or hospital liable.
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Infant Brain Ischemia Lawsuits and Injury Cases
In many cases, brain ischemia is preventable. The doctor and care providers monitoring the mother and baby during labor and delivery have a responsibility to identify any risk factors and take steps to protect the infant. Following proper protocols for labor and delivery and providing the accepted standard of care can limit the instances of brain ischemia and allow for quick diagnosis and treatment if it does occur.
If the doctor who delivered your baby or other hospital staff acted negligently or failed to provide an acceptable standard of care and your child suffered infant brain ischemia, you may be eligible to take legal action and hold them liable. You could recover damages that include:
- Medical care costs
- Therapy and rehabilitation costs
- Early intervention expenses
- Ongoing and future care costs
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Reach out to connect with a birth injury lawyer in your state today. They can help you understand the deadline for taking legal action, your options for pursuing compensation, and the next steps to take to file a claim on behalf of your child.
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Infant Brain Ischemia Types
Brain ischemia, or cerebral ischemia, occurs when the brain suffers damage because of reduced or blocked blood flow. This prevents those areas of the brain from getting the oxygen they need, and the cells begin to die. This is the same type of brain damage an adult might suffer from a stroke or ministroke.
In general, there are two types of infant brain ischemia:
- Focal Cerebral Ischemia: Focal brain ischemia affects only a localized part of the brain where a blockage or bleed occurred.
- Global Cerebral Ischemia: Global brain ischemia affects large areas of the brain and could be deadly if left untreated.
Infant Brain Ischemia Causes
Preventable infant brain ischemia causes include:
- Oxygen deprivation caused by problems during labor and delivery
- Birth asphyxia
- Maternal infection
- Problems with the placenta
- Other maternal or fetal medical issues the doctor or medical staff should have identified
Infant Brain Ischemia Symptoms
Acute signs of infant brain ischemia constitute a medical emergency. If your newborn experiences these symptoms, the hospital staff should order medical imaging and other diagnostic testing immediately. This includes:
- Loss of consciousness
- Loss of movement in one limb, one side of the body, or another part of the body
- Extreme lethargy
In some cases, there are no acute signs of infant brain ischemia immediately after birth. Instead, they show up as the child ages. These may include:
- Delayed or missed developmental milestones in infancy and toddlerhood.
- Impaired motor skill functioning that does not improve over time.
- Cognitive impairment when compared to their peers.
Infant Brain Ischemia Diagnosis and Treatment
If a doctor believes your child suffered a birth injury and has infant brain ischemia, they will likely order a CT scan or MRI of the brain. These medical imaging tests can help to identify what is causing reduced blood flow, which is key in prescribing the most effective treatment.
Once the hospital staff has a better idea of what is causing the brain ischemia in your newborn, they can take steps to address the underlying cause. This could range from offering medications for stroke to emergency brain surgery to stop a brain bleed.
It is important to note that, even with treatment, approximately two-thirds of babies who sustain certain types of brain ischemia live with some level of neurologic disability. This can range from a mild learning disability to significant special needs. For this reason, doctors often prescribe therapy and early intervention programs for these babies.
Infant Brain Ischemia Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if my baby has infant brain ischemia?
Infant brain ischemia often becomes apparent when the newborn loses movement in part of their body, loses consciousness, or has a seizure. Focal brain ischemia (which affects a specific region of the brain) may be less obvious and only become apparent when your child cannot keep up with their peers physically or intellectually.
Can infant brain ischemia be fatal?
When global cerebral ischemia (which affects the entire brain) is left untreated, it can cause severe, lifelong impairments or cause the infant to pass away. Infant brain ischemia should always be treated like a medical emergency.
Who is liable for infant brain ischemia?
Doctors and hospital staff have a duty to monitor the mother and baby throughout the labor and delivery process. This includes watching for risk factors and causes of infant brain ischemia and taking steps to keep the baby healthy. If they fail to prove an acceptable standard of care, and the child suffered a birth injury, you may be able to hold the doctor or hospital liable.
What is the statute of limitations for infant brain ischemia?
There are likely time limits on how long you have to take legal action on your baby’s behalf. It varies widely from state to state. Your birth injury attorney can help you understand the statute of limitations that applies to your case, as well as any tolling (suspension of the effect of the statute of limitations) for minors or statute of repose in your state.
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Infant Brain Ischemia Glossary Terms
- What is focal ischemia? Focal ischemia is localized brain damage caused by a lack of blood flow. It affects only a specific region of the infant’s brain.
- What is global ischemia? Global ischemia is brain damage that affects large areas of the brain and causes significant delays and impairments.
- What is cerebral infarction? Brain ischemia can cause a cerebral infarction, or area of dead brain tissue.
Talk to an Infant Brain Ischemia Birth Injury Lawyer in Your State
If your child suffered infant brain ischemia as a result of medical malpractice, you may be eligible to pursue damages. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at 1-800-222-9529 to connect with a lawyer in your state who can help you build a malpractice case.