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A Hypoxic or Anoxic injury, also known as cerebral hypoxia or hypoxic-anoxic injury (HAI), typically occurs when oxygen flow to the brain is disrupted by various external factors. Adequate oxygen flow is required for the human brain to function. If oxygen levels fall and stay low for only a few minutes, brain cells begin to die and an anoxic or hypoxic brain injury can result.

After five minutes, anoxic brain injuries are known to occur in patients. A general rule states that the greater the oxygen loss, the more serious the brain injury the patient will suffer. A Hypoxic Anoxic brain injury can be life-threatening, or cause severe, permanent disabilities.

Joe Lyon is an Ohio medical malpractice attorney and a Hypoxic Anoxic brain injury lawyer representing plaintiffs nationwide in medical negligence cases.

The Lyon Firm has settled a variety of Medical Negligence in Ohio and throughout the nation.

Hypoxic Anoxic Brain Injuries

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH) has identified factors that contribute to the degree of Anoxic brain injury. The most critical factor in the level of brain damage is the amount of time a patient was deprived of oxygen.

Inattentive medical staff or nursing negligence may be factors in some cases, and it is important to contact an Anoxic injury lawyer to investigate the root cause of injury. Different kinds of anoxia can lead to Hypoxic brain injury, including:

  • Anemic anoxia—blood insufficiently oxygenated will fail to carry enough oxygen to the brain. Chronic anemia and acute hemorrhage can be linked to Hypoxic Anoxic brain injury.
  • Toxic anoxia—certain toxins in the body may prevent the blood’s oxygen from being used efficiently by a patient. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a good example.
  • Stagnant anoxia—Strokes, cardiac arrhythmia, and cardiac arrest are primary causes of some hypoxic anoxic brain injuries.
  • Anoxic anoxia— high altitude anoxia occurs when there is not sufficient oxygen in the air.
  • Intubation Malpractice

Newborn Brain Injuries

Birth injury and delivery malpractice can lead to permanent injuries for children. When a vaginal birth or C-section is delayed, a baby may be deprived of oxygen. The longer an infant is left without a proper amount oxygen, the greater the chance for a serious birth injury, which may include Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.

Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is a serious birth complication affecting infants. the condition prevents adequate blood flow and oxygenation to a newborn brain tissue. This condition is due to a hypoxic-ischemic event during the prenatal, intrapartum, or postnatal period. Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) occurs between 1.5 to 2.5 per 1,000 births in the United States.

The consequences of HIE can be catastrophic. By age two, up to 60 percent of infants with HIE will die or develop disabilities that may include mental retardation, epilepsy, and cerebral palsy.

Hypoxic-ischemic Encephalopathy Risks

A number of health complications and medical errors have been implicated as risk factors for developing HIE, including the following:

  • Placental abruption
  • Placenta previa
  • Uterine rupture
  • Umbilical cord prolapse
  • Breech presentation
  • Shoulder dystocia
  • Maternal hypotension

Brain Injury at Birth

After delivery, the manifestations of HIE may include low Apgar scores, the need for respiratory support after birth, abnormal heart rate, presence of meconium stained fluid, and abnormal umbilical cord gases.

The pathophysiologic effects leading to HIE are complex, and may require medical experts to explain in each individual case. But any hypoxic-ischemic event results in impaired blood flow that will limit the amount of oxygen reaching the brain.

A sudden decrease in oxygen available will trigger cellular events that results in a huge increase in the intracellular concentrations of calcium and sodium that leads to a brain injury at birth. Brain injury at birth can stem from cerebral edema, microvascular damage, and necrosis of brain tissue.

Continued oxygen deprivation is  concern over the 6 to 48 hours after delivery. A lack of oxygen will lead to severe oxidative stress, which can result in more extensive necrosis and brain damage.

In the past, the medical treatment options for newborns with HIE were limited to supportive medical therapy to maintain cardiopulmonary function and to control seizures. There are new treatments available that include moderate hypothermia, administration of erythropoietin, stem cell transplantation, and anti-epileptic medications.

The Lyon Firm is proud to represent plaintiffs and families of infants suffering with brain injuries. Following a brain injury at birth, whether due to medical malpractice or another cause, a child and family are faced with high medical costs and a difficult road ahead. It is critical to recover compensation in birth malpractice lawsuits to help ease medical costs.

Brain Injury Treatment

After identifying the cause of the injury, efforts are made to restore normal oxygen availability to the brain. Once the patient is stable, the rehabilitation phase of treatment follows. This may include:

• Speech therapy
• Physical therapy
• Occupational therapy
• Recreational therapy

Prognosis for Anoxic Brain Damage

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH), many factors contribute to the degree and rate of recovery. The amount of brain damage is a critical factor. The length of time spent unconscious or in a coma, and the level of recovery within the first month of the injury can indicate a better chance of recovery.

Cases of moderate anoxic brain injury have a better outcome, but recovery can still take months or years.

Hypoxic Anoxic Brain Injury Lawyer

Anoxia and Hypoxia usually begin with a loss of consciousness in a patient. Hospital negligence may be suspected in otherwise stable patients. If the person regains full consciousness following a coma, the extent of hypoxia anoxia brain damage depends on the specific region in the brain where the injury occurs. Common cognitive problems associated with anoxia may include:

  • Memory loss.
  • Poor ability in judgment, reasoning, and processing information.
  • Difficulty with concentration
  • Difficulty with language
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Lack of coordination
  • Muscle spasms
  • Weakness
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A Voice for Those who have suffered 

Why are these cases important?

 When management or individuals fail to provide a sufficient level of care, victims may seek legal recourse and file suit against the negligent parties. Medical malpractice lawsuits improve the quality of healthcare by holding physicians and hospitals responsible when they fall below a professional standard of care. 

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Questions about Medical Malpractice

What is a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

Hospitals, medical staff, nurses and doctors are responsible for providing proper patient care. When management or individuals fail to provide a sufficient level of care, victims may seek legal recourse and file suit against the negligent parties.

Without medical malpractice laws, medical mistakes would go without consequence, patients would be uncompensated for preventable injuries, and medical providers would have less incentive to improve the medical system to prevent future injuries.

Despite the reports discussed above, frivolous claims brought by medical malpractice attorneys and runaway juries have been blamed as causing a medical crisis. There is no medical malpractice crisis, it is simply propaganda created by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and large insurance companies to pollute the American jury pool and change the law in a manner that is favorable to them and adverse to the average American. And sadly, it has worked.

Currently, 90 percent of juries side with the physician over the patient at trial. As a result, insurance companies are bolder than ever and refuse at times to settle even the most meritorious of cases knowing that the chances of the patient finding a fair and impartial jury is extremely low, especially in more conservative parties of the country such as Hamilton County, Ohio.

What is a “Never Event” in Hospital Care ?

The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 required that conditions be identified that (a) are costly and occur at high rates, (b) are assigned as cases to the Diagnosis-Related Group, and (c) could have ultimately been prevented with appropriate care. These hospital-acquired conditions occur as negligence on the part of hospital staff and often result in a multitude of medical malpractice lawsuits.

Conditions that meet the three requirements for identification:

What if a hospital makes me an offer directly?

Many hospitals and physicians are taking proactive approaches to resolve viable medical malpractice claims by approaching patients who do not have legal counsel. The “family meeting” presentation will include deterring patients from seeking legal counsel. This is a very concerning development in the course of medical liability and risk management.

We strongly advise patients not to engage in “family meeting” settlement negotiations without an experienced Cincinnati medical malpractice lawyer present. Hospitals and physicians have lawyers who are specialized in medical malpractice claims advising them on how to approach the case, and it is only fair that the patient is afforded the same benefit of qualified counsel.

The “family meeting” practice of settling hospital negligence cases without an attorney does not benefit the patient in most cases, but almost always benefits the negligent hospital.

Do not be deterred by a hospital representative implying that the case will be compromised if you seek counsel. While attorney fees will need to be paid, those costs should not be a deterrent. The Lyon Firm adopts a lower contingency fee structure and offers hourly rates for cases that can be resolved without litigation.

If the parties wish to resolve the matter, having qualified counsel on both sides is beneficial to the process. The goal should be a settlement where both parties are satisfied, not a case where the hospital pays substantially less than the fair value of the claim.

There are numerous issues that need to be considered before settling a medical malpractice case, and you should know what the fair value of the claim is before accepting a settlement.

The hospital knows the fair value having been involved in other cases. You as the patient should work with counsel who has successfully worked on other cases and can advise on the appropriate risk of future litigation and settlement value.

If a hospital is approaching you or a family member about a settlement without a Cincinnati Medical Malpractice lawyer, please call (800) 513-2403 for a free consultation.

Why hire the Lyon Firm?

Our Firm will help you find the answers.  The Firm has the experience, resources and dedication to take on difficult and emotional cases and help our clients obtain the justice for the wrong they have suffered. 

 Experience:  Joe Lyon is an experienced Cincinnati Medical Malpractice Lawyer. The Lyon Firm has 17 years of experience and success representing individuals and plaintiffs in all fifty states, and in a variety of complex civil litigation matters. Medical malpractice lawsuits can be complex and require industry experts to determine the root cause of an accident or injury. Mr. Lyon has worked with experts nationwide to assist individuals understand why an injury occurred and what can be done to improve their lives in the future. Some cases may go to a jury trial, though many others can be settled out of court.

Resources/Dedication: Mr. Lyon has worked with experts in the fields of accident reconstruction, biomechanics, epidemiology, metallurgy, pharmacology, toxicology, human factors, workplace safety, life care planning, economics, and virtually every medical discipline in successfully representing Plaintiffs across numerous areas of law. The Lyon Firm is dedicated to building the strongest cases possible for clients and their critical interests.

Results:  Mr. Lyon has obtained numerous seven and six figure results in personal injury,  automotive product liability, medical Negligence, construction accidents, and auto dealership negligence cases.  The cases have involved successfully litigating against some of  the largest companies in the world

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A recently published study titled, A New, Evidence-based Estimate of Patient Harms Associated with Hospital Care, estimated that 210,000 hospital patients die each year from medical mistakes that could have been prevented.

This places medical malpractice as the third leading cause of death in the United States after heart disease and cancer. Further, the Office of The Inspector General estimated 180,000 deaths per year are due to medical mistakes. And a Study from Journal of Patient Safety estimated that the number of preventable deaths is between 210,000 and 440,000.

Incredibly, the Wrong Site Surgery Project Study found that national incidence of wrong site surgeries, which includes wrong patient, wrong procedure, wrong site and wrong side surgeries, may be as high as 40 per week. 

Our Victories

The Lyon Firm aggressively, professionally, and passionately advocates for injured individuals and families against companies due to a defective product or recalled product to obtain just compensation under the law. 



(Cincinnati, Ohio):  Confidential settlement for a family due to a wrongful death. An emergency room physician failed to recognize the common symptoms associated with bowel obstruction and prescribed a contraindicated medicine of GoLytley.  The patient died at home the day of discharge after taking the medication. The case against the emergency room physician was resolved by settlement following extensive discovery. The settlement was paid to the spouse and surviving adult children for the loss of their mother. While no amount of money could bring back their mother, the case provided answers and held the hospital accountable.


$910,000 Settlement.

(Cincinnati, Ohio):   Joe Lyon was second chair in a case involving the failure of a physician to promptly communicate a positive breast cancer result to a patient. As a result of the delay, the cancer progressed from in situ carcinoma to stage 3B with lymph node involvement. The treatment required mastectomy and radiation/ chemotherapy rather than a simple excision. The case settled after extensive discovery. The defense argued: “the patient should have called the physician.” The settlement provided recovery for suffering through a misdiagnosis and the loss of a spouse and a mother. While the settlement cannot bring this wonderful woman back, it helped her family move forward with life’s challenges and encouraged  future accountability.

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