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Overview of infant brain ischemia

Texas parents who are expecting the birth of a child should know about a potential birth injury called infant brain ischemia. Brain ischemia is a starving of the brain due to lack of blood and oxygen. It is like the opposite of a brain hemorrhage, and both result in brain damage. Symptoms can include vertigo, loss of coordination, blindness in one eye and weakness in one arm or one leg, one side of the body or both sides.

Infant brain ischemia is harder to diagnose since infants cannot communicate effectively, but it can be seen in infants who are lethargic, who lose consciousness or who do not move the affected limb(s). The shock to the brain caused by ischemia could also lead to seizures.

Head CT scans and MRIs are the most common tests for detecting ischemia and other brain conditions. These take density-rich photographs revealing brain activity, indicating blood flow and showing the nerves. The possible causes of ischemia in adults, if present in the mother, can affect the baby as well. These causes can include congenital heart disease, sickle cell anemia and blood clots. The infant may also develop it as a result of birth asphyxia, a maternal infection or a placental disorder. Doctors who know that the mother has a congenital or unpreventable condition are responsible for monitoring the child.

If doctors take note of a potential birth injury but fail to prevent it from occurring, it may very well constitute medical malpractice. Parents who are in this type of a situation might find it advisable to discuss their case with an experienced attorney.

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