Cincinnati Medical Malpractice Attorney & Ohio Brain Injury Lawyer Reviews Serious Hypoxia and Anoxia for plaintiffs nationwide

Hypoxic-Anoxic Brain Injury, also called cerebral hypoxia or hypoxic-anoxic injury (HAI), occurs when oxygen flow to the brain is disrupted. Adequate oxygen is necessary for the brain to function properly.

If oxygen levels remain significantly low for four minutes or longer, brain cells begin to die. After five minutes, anoxic brain injury can occur. The greater the loss of oxygen, the more serious the injury will be. The condition can be life-threatening, or cause permanent disabilities.

Brain injuries can be the result of auto accidents, birth injury, workplace accidents, medical malpractice, heavy equipment accidents, or military service.

Joe Lyon is an Ohio brain injury lawyer and medical malpractice attorney reviewing birth injury cases and preventable brain injuries for plaintiffs nationwide. 

Causes of Anoxic Brain Injury

Contact a brain injury lawyer following any birth injury or catastrophic head or spinal injury. Four types of anoxia can cause serious damage to the brain:

  • Anemic anoxia—insufficiently oxygenated blood fails to carry oxygen to the brain. The brain does not receive enough oxygen to perform properly. Some causes of anemic anoxia are chronic anemia and acute hemorrhage.
  • Toxic anoxia—toxins in the system can prevent the blood’s oxygen from being used efficiently. Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause toxic anoxia.
  • Stagnant anoxia—internal conditions can block oxygen-rich blood from reaching the brain. Strokes, cardiac arrhythmia, and cardiac arrest are the primary causes.
  • Anoxic anoxia—caused when there is not sufficient oxygen in the air for the body. It may occur at high altitudes.
  • Intubation Error Induced Injury
  • Birth Injury

Symptoms of Anoxic Brain Injury

Anoxia usually begins with a loss of consciousness or a coma. If the person regains full consciousness, the extent of their symptoms depends on the amount of brain damage and the specific location in the brain where the injury occurred. Doctors describe the following cognitive problems associated with anoxia:

• Short-term memory loss.
• Poorer performance in functions such as judgment, reasoning, and processing information.
• Difficulty concentrating or focusing on more than one task.
• Difficulty using words or processing the meaning of common word usage.
• Trouble with visual focus information.
• Confusion
• Depression
• Hallucinations
• Personality changes
Physical issues include:
• Lack of coordination.
• Inability to perform common tasks.
• Rigidity
• Involuntary muscle spasms.
• Weakness in all four limbs.

Ohio Brain Injury Lawyer Reviews 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.

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Birth Injury Malpractice & 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.

Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Cincinnati, Ohio medical malpractice and Ohio Brain injury Lawyer, accepting Hypoxic and Anoxic brain injury cases nationwide. Contact The Lyon Firm at 800.513.2403 for a free consultation.