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Ischemia Cerebral Palsy Birth Injury Lawsuit Lawyers in Georgia

December 23, 2021

Ischemia is a dangerous circumstance in which oxygenated blood to the brain has been cut off or has been reduced.  In order for the brain to operate properly, it needs a sufficient supply of oxygenated blood.  When the supply of blood to the brain is cut off or reduced, brain tissue becomes destroyed.  When brain tissue dies, the body functions connected with that brain tissue are lost forever. 

While ischemia is a medical condition that could develop in a person at any age, the effects of this medical condition on newborns are particularly tragic since a baby's brain is developing quickly in the first few months and years of life.  Ischemia threatens to interrupt this development process.  When brain damage causes a baby to miss developmental milestones and causes loss of leg and/or arm function, the baby might be diagnosed with cerebral palsy.  Early intervention can help the child better manage the symptoms of the condition.

Ischemia is a medical term that describes several circumstances that are all related to the fact that oxygenated blood ceased to flow to the brain.  There are several variations of ischemia, and they are distinguished by how widespread the ischemia is.  Focal cerebral ischemia is indicated by ischemia caused when the brain's blood vessels become obstructed, and the ischemia is localized to the area of the blockage. Global cerebral ischemia is ischemia that affects the entire brain.

Both ischemia variations are comparable in that severe and permanent damage to the person's functioning can transpire if the flow of oxygenated blood to the person's brain isn't restored quickly.  In the circumstance of global cerebral ischemia, failure to restore oxygenated blood flow will result in death.

The Common Causes of Ischemia

Newborns and young children who develop ischemia cannot explain how they feel.  Parents of newborns need to be alert to signs of reduced oxygenated blood flow to their child's brain.  A few signs and symptoms include:

  • The baby stops all movements;
  • The baby loses consciousness;
  • The baby has several seizures within a 24-hour period;
  • The baby is exhibiting lethargy; and/or
  • Cognitive impairments are noticeable.

Failing to meet infant developmental milestones and a lack of motor skills can indicate cerebral palsy.  A baby or small child who misses important developmental milestones may have developed cerebral palsy.

The following are several risk factors that can make it more probable that a child will suffer an ischemic-type injury:

  • Pre-term delivery of the baby;
  • Clotting disorders;
  • Viral or bacterial infections in the mother;
  • A prolonged or difficult delivery;
  • Placenta abnormalities preventing blood from reaching the brain;
  • Prolapsed umbilical cord; 
  • Low blood pressure; and/or
  • Fluctuations between high and low blood pressures. 

Generally, ischemia is not a medical condition that can be prevented.   However, a pregnant woman and her doctor can work to reduce the risk of ischemia.

Before birth, a doctor's role is to help minimize the chance for ischemia to occur. This is only adequately performed when the doctor is able to regularly visit the mother to check the vital readings of the baby.  If the mother or unborn baby is at risk of ischemia, the doctor should plan with the mother and make sure that she understands what her doctor may need to do should her child's blood flow become disrupted before or during birth. 

During pregnancy, the physician's role is to treat instances of ischemia decisively and quickly.  Brain tissue begins to die within a few minutes of blood deprivation.  The physician must be prepared to address ischemia that arises during the delivery of the baby. 

After birth, the doctor's role is to manage complications.  Once a baby is born after suffering ischemia, the child's pediatrician will conduct one or more evaluations to understand the extent of the baby's injury.  The pediatrician may order imaging tests to be performed and obtain an image of the baby's brain.  The imaging may show areas of the brain that the temporary blood flow issue has impacted.  If the pediatrician notices developmental delays or additional impairments, the pediatrician will refer the baby to one or more specialists.

When ischemia is suspected or diagnosed, one of the greatest mistakes a medical professional can make is to delay in taking action.  Delays in restoring blood flow to the brain can cause the body to go into a "survival mode."  The body then diverts blood to the most important organs. However, the body's own protective measures would not be enough to keep brain tissue from dying. 

When a baby suffers ischemia and blood flow to the brain has been restored, delays in obtaining treatment can result in unnecessary injury and impairment to the child.  Medical or therapeutic intervention may not restore all functioning lost due to ischemia.  However, intervention can stop further damage to important functioning, and there may be some regaining some lost functioning.  

Discovering that your newborn may have suffered ischemia can be frightening.  Blood flow that is disrupted for too long a period of time can cause permanent brain damage.  When ischemia happens during birth, the physician needs to be prepared to intervene and restore blood flow to the baby's brain by resolving the obstruction or by performing an emergency cesarean section. After ischemia has been detected and then resolved, further medical therapy may be required to restore functioning. 

Legal Help for Parents and Children With Birth Injuries 

Did your baby suffer complications such as hypoxic or asphyxia injury, ischemia, and/or physical trauma?  Protect your legal rights by calling Montlick Injury Attorneys Nationwide, 24/7, at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). Our Birth Injury Lawyers in Georgia are here to listen, understand your situation, and advise you. 

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Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law

Address: 17 Executive Park Dr NE
Atlanta, GA 30329, United States
Hours: Open 24 hours
Phone: (404) 529-6333
Toll Free: (800) 529-6333

RMH6+38 Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Ischemia Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit Lawyers in Georgia 

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All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.

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