Placental Cerebral Infarction – A Serious and Sometimes Avoidable Birth Injury

Few experiences in life are more emotional than the birth of a baby. We all hope that our children come into this world happy and healthy. Unfortunately there are many different conditions that can impact your baby‘s development both during your pregnancy as well as during the labor and delivery process.

One very serious condition is called Placental Cerebral Infarction or PCI. Placental Cerebral Infarction affects the blood flow going to the fetus from the placenta. PCI is a form of cerebral hypoxia or a decrease of blood flow and oxygen to the baby‘s brain.

There are a number of developmental causes for PCI including:

  1. Maternal diabetes.
  2. Preclampsia, which is high blood pressure in the mother during pregnancy.
  3. Fetal anemia.
  4. Lung malformation.
  5. Cardiac disease.
  6. Congenital fetal infections.
  7. Blood flow problems to the placenta

Placental Cerebral Infarction can also occur if the doctor must perform an operative procedure during pregnancy or a Caesarean section. These types of procedures can cause the placenta to bleed or even rupture which affects the supply of oxygen to the baby‘s brain. If this occurs the doctor must respond to the situation quickly so that no harm results to the baby. However, if the doctor fails to respond promptly, and the baby‘s brain is without adequate oxygen for too long, serious birth injuries can result.

The types and seriousness of the injuries caused by cerebral hypoxia are largely dependent upon which portion(s) of the brain are denied adequate oxygen, as well as the severity of the hypoxia. In cases where the lack of oxygen to the brain is mild, the brain injury, if any, will be less serious. Such injuries can include short-term memory loss and/or difficulty mastering complicated tasks. In the most severe cases of cerebral hypoxia, coma and brain death can result.

In serious cases of PCI, another common result is cerebral palsy birth injury. Cerebral palsy can lead to brain damage of varying degrees causing moderate to sever learning disabilities, mental retardation, seizure disorders impaired mobility and other injuries.

In situations where it appears that PCI was caused by medical negligence you may be entitled to file a medical malpractice claim to recover for damages to your child, including medical expenses (past and future), lost earnings (over a lifetime), and pain and suffering.

If you suspect that medical negligence is the cause of your child‘s PCI, it is very important that you contact an attorney experienced in medical malpractice claims as soon as you suspect that there may be a problem as there are very strict and unique deadlines associated with New Mexico medical malpractice claims. Failure to file your claim within these time frames will result in your inability to bring the claim at all.


Related Reading:
Infant Asphyxia and Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy
Negligent Failure to Perform C-sections Resulting in Cerebral Palsy
Risks of Pre-Term C-Section Should be Understood by the Patient

Collins & Collins, P.C.
Albuquerque Attorneys

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