If you had a particularly difficult birthing process, your doctor may have told you that your baby has brain ischemia. This will likely lead you to wonder, “What are the long term effects of brain ischemia?” This condition can be extremely serious over the long term, negatively affecting the baby’s quality of life as he or she ages. In extremely serious cases, the baby could suffer a fatality.
Since brain ischemia involves a lack of oxygen-rich blood reaching the brain, the baby could suffer a stroke. This type of brain damage may result in permanent loss of some brain function. In a mild case of brain ischemia, the baby may be able to recover some of his or her brain functions, as the damage to the brain is temporary.
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Conditions That May Result From Brain Ischemia
Brain ischemia can lead to several different disorders, depending on the severity of the condition. Most commonly, lack of oxygen to the brain can cause cerebral palsy, developmental delays or disabilities, motor disorders, and even epilepsy.
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One of the disorders that frequently occurs after a brain injury in an infant is cerebral palsy, or CP. Studies estimate that cerebral palsy diagnoses occur in 1 out of every 323 births in the United States, according to the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation (CPARF).
Cerebral palsy affects the ability of the person to control his or her muscles. CP does not become worse over time, but there is no cure for this condition, either. As they age, some children with CP are able to walk with the help of braces or a walker, while others must use a wheelchair.
Although the specific cause of cerebral palsy is not always known, a baby that suffers some sort of brain trauma during delivery or after birth could end up with a diagnosis of cerebral palsy.
If the baby becomes stuck in the birth canal too long and suffers from a lack of oxygen, CP is a possibility. Additionally, if the doctor overseeing the delivery improperly uses forceps to aid in the delivery, this could also cause a brain injury and lead to a CP diagnosis.
Ischemia can result in brain damage that does not heal over time, causing the baby to reach developmental and intellectual milestones slower than his or her peers. Sometimes, the brain damage is so severe that the baby will not ever reach certain milestones, which could result in a significant reduction in his or her quality of life.
If your baby suffered an ischemic stroke, but no one on the medical team caught the symptoms, you may not notice the effects of any brain damage until the child ages and begins missing these developmental milestones. This can make the process of filing a medical malpractice lawsuit more difficult because of the time that has passed.
Some of the developmental disabilities you may notice include delays in or difficulty with:
- Solving problems.
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A newborn who suffers an ischemic stroke during birth could suffer other types of motor disorders beyond cerebral palsy. For example, the child may be unable to control muscle spasms, causing repeated movements in the limbs, called dystonia.
Seizures and Epilepsy
After some sort of damage to the brain during delivery, the infant may begin showing signs of seizures. If you notice seizures in your infant, you need to let your doctor know as soon as possible. Repeated seizures can cause further damage to the brain.
Epilepsy is a specific type of brain disorder that results in seizures. After a birth injury, seizures related to epilepsy are more common than other types of seizures in infants, which may be related to high fever or infection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates about 470,000 children in the United States have epilepsy.
Defending Your Right to Receive Awards
After a birth injury, you may be wondering, “What are the long term effects of brain ischemia?” If your baby suffers a stroke, he or she may end up with a permanent disability that affects his or her quality of life forever.
If a doctor’s negligence caused brain ischemia and your baby’s stroke, you have the right to seek damages for your medical bills both now and in the future, as well as for your child’s pain, suffering, and reduction in quality of life.
The team at the Birth Injury Lawyers Group takes pride in defending the rights of people who have suffered significant injuries and hardships because of the mistakes of medical professionals. If you believe your baby’s injuries could have been prevented, contact us at (800) 222-9529 for a free review of your case.