Hypoxic Brain Injury
The human brain requires a constant flow of oxygen in order to function normally. A hypoxic or anoxic brain injury occurs when the oxygen flow is disrupted. The term hypoxic is used to describe a partial lack of oxygen to the brain, whereas anoxic means a total lack of oxygen. A diminished oxygen supply can result in the person suffering serious impairments, including both psychological and physical disabilities. This can have a profound effect not only on the individual but family members, friends, and caregivers. The treatment can be extremely complicated and expensive because patients will need substantial rehabilitative help to recover. A San Antonio jury awarded a couple $37 million in a case of medical negligence that left their baby severely brain damaged. After the child was born prematurely, the doctor caring for the child inserted a breathing tube into the child’s esophagus instead of the lungs. Because the lungs were not receiving oxygen, the baby suffered severe brain damage as a result.
In the State of Texas, victims of medical malpractice must file a claim within two years from the date of injury. However, this statute of limitations is longer if the victim was a minor at the time. A lawsuit on behalf of the child must be filed within two years of the minor’s eighteenth birthday. The discovery rule in Pennsylvania may also lengthen the statute if the person did not discover the cause of their injury within the specified period of time. Consult a San Antonio brain injury lawyer for assistance in pursuing a claim for damages.
Causes of a Hypoxic Brain Injury
When the oxygen supply of a patient is cut off, it can cause serious impairments in cognitive skills in addition to both psychological and physical functions. Sometimes a hypoxic brain injury occurs due to a medical error. Brain injuries resulting from medical negligence include some of the following:
- Injuries during labor and delivery of a child
- Complications from general anesthesia
- Surgical errors
- Medication errors
- Failure to monitor or treat patients who have very low blood pressures, otherwise known as severe hypotension
- Inadequate perfusion (blood flow) on the heart/lung machine during a coronary artery bypass graft surgery
A patient could end up with a serious brain injury if an anesthesiologist fails to properly monitor them during surgery. The cells in the brain are extremely sensitive to oxygen deprivation. They start to die within five minutes of the oxygen supply being cut off. Therefore, it is imperative that victims be treated immediately in order to restore the oxygen supply to the brain. The longer the person has been deprived of oxygen, the greater the chances of death.
Pursuing a Claim Personal Injury Claim
The human brain requires a continuous supply of oxygen in order to survive. When this flow of oxygen is interrupted, the person will lose consciousness within fifteen seconds and damage to the brain starts to occur after several minutes without oxygen. There are a variety of events that can cause a person to suffer a hypoxic brain injury, some of which include:
- Carbon monoxide inhalation
- Suffocation or strangulation
- Cardiac arrest
- Near drowning
- Drug overdose
- Electric shock
- Smoke inhalation
- Extremely low blood pressure
The extent of brain damage primarily depends upon how long the brain was deprived of oxygen. The longer the brain has been starved of oxygen, the greater the chance of coma or death. Individuals who are recovering from the loss of oxygen will frequently experience memory loss, changes in personality, amnesia and sometimes hallucinations. If you wish to pursue a personal injury claim due to the negligence of another person, contact a San Antonio brain injury lawyer for assistance.
When to Consult a San Antonio Brain Injury Lawyer
If you were the victim of an error made by a doctor, hospital or surgeon, consult with a San Antonio brain injury lawyer. The attorneys at Flynn and Associates, P.C. have experience in obtaining settlements for clients that have been injured through no fault of their own. They can review the specific details about your case and let you know how much compensation you are entitled to receive.