Anoxic and Hypoxic Injury Lawsuit
Over 2.5 million Americans each year require hospitalization or other medical treatment for traumatic brain injuries. Of that figure, an estimated 250,000 are children.
In another 50,000 cases, traumatic brain injury was cited as a contributing cause of the victim’s death. Today alone, over 130 people will die from a traumatic brain injury in the United States. Traumatic brain injuries are often avoidable or foreseeable, and may be the result of a third party’s negligent conduct.
What are Anoxic and Hypoxic Injuries?
For the brain to properly function, a constant, steady flow of oxygen is needed. Without steady oxygen flow to the brain, there is a significant risk of severe, long-term injury. Two principal types of traumatic brain injury involve the loss of the flow of oxygen to the brain: anoxic and hypoxic injury. In both of these types of brain injuries, the seriousness of the traumatic brain injury correlates with the length of time the brain goes without the proper flow of oxygen. Both anoxic and hypoxic injuries can stem from the same root causes, but there are differences between the two injuries.
Hypoxic brain injury describes an injury in which there is a partial disruption of the flow of oxygen to the brain. While it is possible to recover from this type of brain injury, hypoxic brain injury can potentially inflict severe damage, which includes memory loss, vision loss, or difficulty speaking. Hypoxic brain injury can also result in loss of consciousness that causes severe and long-lasting consequences.
Anoxic brain injury occurs when there is a total and complete lack of oxygen to the brain, which disrupts the brain’s ability to function. If left untreated, anoxic brain injury can lead to permanent brain damage or even death. The symptoms associated with anoxic brain injury may vary depending on the duration of time the individual is without oxygen. Mild symptoms can resemble those of a hypoxic brain injury and may include light-headedness, dizziness, and increased breathing rate and elevated heart rate. Some victims of anoxic brain injury become “brain dead,” and require the use of ventilators in a vegetative state to stay alive.
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
The term Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) refers to a situation where an individual suffers a severe injury that adversely impacts his or her brain function. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the most often cited causes of traumatic brain injuries are:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Striking ones head against another object / “blow” to the head
- Motor vehicle accidents
Traumatic brain injuries often occur in the workplace, as a result of motor vehicle accidents, or in public places including swimming pools and theme parks. Some individuals who sustain traumatic brain injury may experience a minor concussion or a brief period of unconsciousness. In more extreme cases, the victim of a traumatic brain injury endures permanent disability or even death. Just because a traumatic brain injury appears to be mild, does not mean it will not impart long-lasting effects, especially if the damage to the brain occurs repeatedly. An example of repeated injury to the brain is concussive hits that happen in football games. Signs and symptoms of a mild traumatic brain injury include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Headache or a migraine
- Fuzzy or blurry vision
- Sleeping more or less than usual
- Nausea or vomiting
- Difficulty sleeping
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Loss of memory
- Feeling anxious or nervous
Symptoms of severe traumatic brain injury may include:
- Prolonged unconsciousness
- Partial or total vision loss
- Loss of hearing
- Loss of sense of smell and taste
- Difficulty reading, speaking, writing
- Difficulty understanding spoken words
- Persistent confusion
- Chronic pain
- Sleep disorders
- Physical paralysis
- Lack of inhibitions
- Emotionally instability
- Denial or lack of self-awareness
The symptoms of traumatic brain injury usually differ from person to person depending on the type and force of impact on the brain. Because of this, even severe traumatic brain injuries are often misdiagnosed or diagnosed too late. Improper diagnosis usually occurs when symptoms of a traumatic brain injury are delayed and not immediately apparent to medical professionals.
What Should I Do Next?
Even where liability for a traumatic brain injury can be quickly established, the issue of securing adequate compensatory damages for the victim and his or her family is a separate matter. Because anoxic and hypoxic brain injuries are often difficult to detect, diagnosis and treatment of the damage can be overshadowed by other injuries that the victim sustains in the event of a catastrophic accident. For example, if a severe motor vehicle accident survivor regains his ability to speak and walk, his frontal lobe damage, which influences behavioral activity in the brain, can be more difficult to establish. This damage is significant and can have life-long consequences for the victim.
Our experienced traumatic brain injury lawyers will aggressively pursue compensation of your medical expenses, as well as lost earning capacity, life care costs, loss of consortium damages, and the pain and suffering associated with the accident or injury that resulted in the traumatic brain damage. This requires thorough investigation and expenditure of resources by our team. We will seek guidance from experts in the field of traumatic brain injuries, such as neuropsychologists and other medical professionals.
If you or a loved one experienced an anoxic brain injury, hypoxic brain injury, or any other traumatic brain injury due to an accident or injury, call our office today. Our team of attorneys at The Eichholz Law Firm is dedicated to securing a just result and adequate compensation for victims like you.