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
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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 Lack of Consciousness or Lethargy
We expect infants to sleep a lot in the weeks following birth. We also expect very little movement from them. However, if your infant is unconscious, it seems like they may not wake at all, or if they seem too lethargic, it is possible that your child is suffering from a serious medical condition. If this is the case, consider retaining a birth injury lawyer for an infant lack of consciousness or lethargy.
Types of Conditions That Cause Lack of Consciousness or Lethargy in Infants
A number of conditions can cause a lack of consciousness or lethargy in infants. Here are just a few that could be impacting the health of your infant:
Each of these medical conditions can cause serious pain and suffering for your entire family. If your child is suffering from a birth injury or because of a previously undiscovered medical condition, you may be entitled to compensation.
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.
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.
Brain Ischemia Lawyer News
Could a baby develop PTSD after a brain injury during birth? The answer may be yes according to a new study published by UCLA. Science Daily reported on the study.
The researchers wanted to know why PTSD developed in veterans after concussion-like injuries. They found that traumatic brain injuries can cause changes in a region of the brain responsible for fear called the amygdala.
The study was done on rats. Through surgery, brain injuries were given to one group. Simulated surgery was given to the control group. The rats were then exposed to a low level of noise followed by brief electrical shocks to the feet to frighten them.
All the rats soon associated the noise with fear, freezing up when they heard it. After a few days of treatment like this, the researchers put the rats into the testing cage but didn’t administer shocks to see the reactions.
The rats with brain injuries froze for a much longer time and showed a fear response in the brain when the noise was played. Even though the noise was small, they treated it like a shock. When studying the amygdalas of these rats, there was a five-fold increase in active neurons in the damaged rats compared to the control group. They also found that the region of the brain that processes sound also shifted to a more primitive area.
These results may be the beginning of explaining why babies with brain injuries suffer sensory sensitivities that are much like PTSD symptoms.
It can take years for a medical malpractice suit to finally reach a settlement or a ruling. A 15-year-old finally received justice after winning a $15 million lawsuit against the U.S. government for brain injuries received during his birth at an army base hospital. The Washington Times reports.
The lawsuit was filed in 2015 and finally received resolution after a U.S. District judge ruled in favor of the family. The child did not receive enough oxygen during birth and now suffers from cerebral palsy and other deficiencies.
The judge believed that if the child had been delivered by C-section, the problems would never have occurred, but the mother was not offered that choice. He also found that the hospital did not properly monitor the fetus during delivery.
When a baby does not receive enough oxygen during birth, tremendous damage can result. It’s one of the most delicate times of life. The body has to suddenly switch from receiving air from the mother through the umbilical cord to receiving it through the lungs. If this process isn’t smooth, conditions like cerebral palsy can happen due to brain damage.
Fetal monitoring is used to detect distress in the baby to see if this is a problem, but if the signals are ignored or are incorrect, tragedies like this can happen. We are glad that the family was able to secure compensation in this case.
A New Jersey hospital has to pay a $7.1 million settlement to a family whose son was born with severe brain damage due to a lack of oxygen. NJ.com reported on the incident.
The suit was filed in 2017 and alleged that a delay in the delivery caused “a deviation from accepted standards of obstetrical care”. Due to the delay, the boy is unable to walk or feed himself. He suffers from seizures and hydrocephalus and must take many medications. He requires round-the-clock care.
When babies suffer even a little bit of oxygen deprivation, it can cause a lot of damage to the body and brain. The transition between breathing through the umbilical cord and breathing through the lungs is a critical time. If there is a problem, even small delays can cause lifelong problems like this one.
The settlement has no admission of wrongdoing from the hospital or the doctors, but the money will be placed into a trust and a structured settlement annuity to pay for the medical care of the child for the remainder of his life.
We are glad that the child will be able to get the care he needs and the family can stop worrying about how to pay for it.
What Is Neonatal Cerebral Ischemia?
Neonatal cerebral ischemia is a serious medical condition that results in limited oxygen supply to the brain, a sub-type of stroke. Perinatal ischemic strokes occur in about one out of every 4,000 live births according to the National Center for Biotechnical Information (NCBI). There are a number of potential causes of neonatal cerebral ischemia, including negligence on behalf of medical professionals, so you should consider your potential options to receive compensation you may be entitled to if your child is diagnosed with this condition.
Defining Neonatal Cerebral Ischemia
Cerebral ischemia is a condition that could be experienced by people at any age, as it is a result of individuals not receiving enough blood flow to their brain, limiting their oxygen supply, and potentially killing brain tissue. Cerebral ischemia affecting a newborn would be considered a neonatal cerebral ischemia. Depending upon the scope of the condition, your child may be diagnosed with:
- Neonatal focal ischemia: if the damage is in a single area of their brain.
- Neonatal global ischemia: if the damage covers a large area of brain tissue.
Both focal and global cerebral ischemia may cause serious damage.
Symptoms of Neonatal Cerebral Ischemia
Ischemic strokes make up about 87 percent of all strokes according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, these symptoms may be harder to identify in a newborn, as it can be difficult to tell if your child is experiencing:
- A loss of coordination
- Weakness in parts of the body
- Lethargy, vertigo, or dizziness
Some symptoms may be easier to pick out. Your child could require immediate medical attention if they lose consciousness or have a seizure. Even if your child is not diagnosed with neonatal cerebral ischemia, these symptoms are a cause for concern, and you should contact a medical professional.
Note that neonatal cerebral ischemia may have long-lasting effects on your child’s health. Lack of oxygenated blood to the brain over a long period may result in other conditions such as cerebral palsy. Your child could also experience paralysis, vision problems, or issues with communication as a result of this kind of birth injury.
Possible Causes of Neonatal Cerebral Ischemia
Determining the cause of neonatal cerebral ischemia may be complicated. In some cases, newborns experience this condition because of genetic defects, often related to the heart. Some genetic blood disorders like sickle cell anemia may also lead to neonatal cerebral ischemia.
In addition to possible genetic factors, the actions of a pregnant mother could increase the odds of a child experiencing cerebral ischemia. For example, mothers who smoke or use drugs during pregnancy may increase the chances of a child developing a neonatal cerebral ischemia.
However, in some situations, a neonatal cerebral ischemia occurs due to the negligent actions or inactions of a medical professional. An error on the part of a healthcare provider may prevent your child from receiving the proper amount of oxygen needed during or immediately after childbirth, resulting in brain damage and other serious injuries.Focusing on the Treatment for Neonatal Cerebral Ischemia
Getting treatment for your child after they experience a neonatal cerebral ischemia is very important. Your child may require surgery in some cases to repair the brain damage they may have sustained. In other situations, they could require:
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Ongoing medications
- Assistive devices
The costs to provide medical care for your child can become expensive. You may face numerous losses, including the loss of your wages and future earning potential if you must take off work to provide care for your infant. You may be entitled to compensation for these losses in some situations.
Potential Compensation for Neonatal Cerebral Ischemia
If your child was diagnosed with a neonatal cerebral ischemia, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses and other losses. However, you could only receive this compensation if someone else’s negligence led to your child’s medical condition.
Your child’s condition may be the result of an act of medical malpractice that occurred during the birthing process. A doctor may have failed to properly monitor your child’s vital signs, for example, allowing them to remain in distress and without sufficient oxygen for a lengthy period of time.
A birth injury lawyer can help you determine if a healthcare professional engaged in medical malpractice during your child’s birth.
Learn More About Neonatal Cerebral Ischemia With the Birth Injury Lawyers Group
Neonatal cerebral ischemia is a serious medical condition that may occur if your child does not get enough oxygenated blood flow to their brain. If your child was diagnosed with neonatal cerebral ischemia that you believe was a result of another person’s negligence, call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at (800) 222-9529 to get a free consultation regarding your case.