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Failure To Have Adequate Blood Supplies Available
When having a serious operation, it is likely that you may require a blood transfusion during the operation. Therefore the surgical team must have thought ahead and have supplies ready if this is needed or if an unforeseen incident requires blood to be needed.
Consequences Of Lack Of Blood Supplies
A lack of blood to the brain and spinal cord can cause brain damage and death. Two branches from the aorta supply blood to the brain and spinal cord consisting of internal carotid arteries, the vertebral arteries and the medullary arteries. Often blood supply to the brain and spinal cord can become interrupted during abdominal surgery.
The medullary arteries and vertebral arteries supply blood to the spinal cord. The ten arteries join together to form the anterior and posterior spinal arteries (front and back.) Neurological damage will correlate according to whether the anterior or posterior supply is interrupted. Loss of posterior supply generally leads to the loss of sensory function, and anterior supply to deficits in the individual’s motor functions.
Both the vertebral arteries and the internal carotid arteries supply blood to the brain. Each set of arteries join the brain at different locations with the internal carotid arteries joining in the pons at the base of the brain stem. The internal carotid arteries join in the base of the brain in the hypothalamic region and also supply the forebrain (front of the brain.) These arteries then supply locations, once again meaning depending on which region of blood supply is effected, different issues will present themselves in the patients.
Neurons are particularly sensitive to oxygen deprivation compared to other cells hence the importance of continual blood supply to the brain during operations. Brief loss of blood supply (referred to as ischemia) has the ability to lead to cellular changes, which, if not quickly reversed, can cause cell death. Sustained loss of blood supply leads much more directly to death and degeneration of the deprived cells. The damaged sustained due to a break in blood supply can be permanent in many cases, but it may also be able to be rectified over time.
Blood stocks run low at times of big events, such as around the time of the Olympics, blood banks are particularly low, hence a massive push for donations before any big event. Make sure you donate blood to prevent a loved one experiencing complications should they need an operation.
If you or a family member has developed neurological damage due to the lack of provision of appropriate blood supplies during an operation, you may have grounds for a medical negligence claim. We can provide you with completely free, no obligation opinion about your prospects for a successful claim.
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