Anesthesia and Cerebral Palsy

Usually anesthesia is defined as the loss of sensitivity to pain.  In many cases, patients are given anesthesia while undergoing medical procedures that are painful.  This was there is little feeling if any at all.  As good as that sounds, there are cases where it does more harm than good.

There are many different kinds of anesthesia used for procedures; it depends on the patient and what type of procedure is being done.  Frequently known types of anesthesia are:

  • Local anesthesia
  • Regional anesthesia
  • Epidural/spinal anesthesia
  • General anesthesia

The epidural anesthesia is used during labor.  This anesthetic is injected close to the spinal cord in the nerves connected to it.  It blocks the pain from the whole area of the body, particularly the abdomen, hips and legs.

How Can Anesthesia Cause  Cerebral   Palsy ?

Even though researchers and doctors do not know the exact cause of how anesthesia causes  cerebral   palsy , they know it happens.  They know the fetal heart rate drops too low; it cannot properly flow to the uterus to deliver oxygen to the body.

To repeat what was said above, the epidural anesthesia makes it difficult for the blood in the patient’s lower body to flow properly through the body.  The heart is unable to respond adequately to the changing needs of the body.  Consequently, if the anesthesia is not properly given, or if the doctor failed to monitor it, the infant could be born with  cerebral   palsy .

Many infants go through periods of slow heart rate when the mother is given epidural anesthesia.  Healthy infants are normally unaffected.  Infants can be harmed if there is a difficult childbirth such as a compromised position.

 Cerebral   Palsy  Resulting from Anesthesia

An infant can develop  cerebral   palsy  due to inefficient amount oxygen given because of the effects of anesthesia.  This is a condition that is not curable, it affects the muscles, the brain and motor functions.  The severity of the condition varies, but whatever degree of  cerebral   palsy  someone has, it is life changing.  Treatments are given to those to help cope with the condition.

If you know someone who has  cerebral   palsy  because of an error with the anesthesia, contact a medical attorney to learn more about your legal options.