What are Anoxic and Hypoxic Brain Injuries
Cerebral hypoxia occurs when the brain does not receive a sufficient amount of oxygen. Without a constant supply of oxygen, the brain ceases to function properly. Cerebral anoxia occurs when the oxygen flow to the brain is completely stopped. Brain cells can begin to die in under five minutes after the oxygen supply is cut. Severe brain damage, coma, and death oftentimes follow cerebral anoxia and hypoxia. The extent of brain damage generally depends on the length of time that the brain went without a sufficient supply of oxygen.
What Causes Hypoxic and Anoxic Brain Injuries?
Anoxic and hypoxic brain injuries can be caused by a variety of accidents, including:
- Automobile accidents (crushed windpipe)
- On the job accidents (breathing in smoke or carbon monoxide, electrocution)
- Unsafe premises (slip and fall injuries)
- Medical malpractice (anesthesia complications, ventilator problems, feeding errors)
Understanding the Symptoms of a Hypoxic Brain Injury
Individuals suffering from a hypoxic brain injury may exhibit severe signs and symptoms, such as:
- Poor judgment
- Uncoordinated movements
- Mood swings or personality changes
- Lack of breathing
- No response of the pupils to light
Oxygen supply must be restored as soon as possible to reduce the risk of a severe brain injury or death. These injuries can be treated in a variety of ways, including, oxygen therapy, medications, and cooling of the brain. Years of rehabilitation may be required following a traumatic brain injury like anoxia or hypoxia.
Anoxic and Hypoxic Brain Injuries in Children
Among the most common causes of brain damage in children is hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). This is a critical condition that occurs in infants and is characterized by inadequate amounts of oxygen reaching the brain prenatally, intrapartum, or postnatally. When a doctor fails to provide a reasonable level of care, your child may be exposed to HIE resulting in permanent disability or even death. Long term abnormalities resulting hypoxia and anoxia in a baby can also include:
- Cognitive deficits
- Motor impairments
- Learning disability
- Cerebral palsy
- Hearing problems
- Vision problems
If your child suffered a brain damage due to complication before, during, or after childbirth, contact Thomas J. Henry Law immediately.
Brain Injuries Caused by Ventilators
Patients with medical problems that make it difficult to breathe are often put on a ventilator. Ventilators can help a patient with breathing or control breathing completely for the patient. Unfortunately, if a problem arises with the ventilator, the patient can suffer severe injuries, such as an anoxic or hypoxic brain injury.
In 2002, The Joint Commission released a report regarding 23 ventilator-related deaths and comas, in which 65 percent were related to the malfunction or misuse of an alarm. Errors involving a ventilator could be a sign of medical negligence and malpractice.
Contact an Experienced Anoxic and Hypoxic Brain Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one suffered from an anoxic or hypoxic brain injury, contact Thomas J. Henry. These injuries leave individuals with severe injuries that could take years to fully rehabilitate. If the injury was due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to collect damages including pain and suffering, medical bills, future medical costs, lost wages, and more. Sadly, in some cases, these brain injuries lead to permanent coma or death. If your loved one passed away due to the negligence of a healthcare provider or a mishap involving a ventilator, call us today for a free legal consultation.
Our experienced medical malpractice and brain injury attorneys are available 24/7, nights and weekends to help you with your case. We have law offices located in Corpus Christi, San Antonio, and Austin, serving clients across Texas and nationwide.