When the human brain is partially or completely deprived of oxygen for excessive periods of time, irreversible brain damage can occur. Cerebral hypoxia refers to partial oxygen deprivation, while cerebral anoxia refers to total oxygen deprivation. Some discussions about the condition use the term hypoxia to refer to both partial and complete oxygen deprivation.
Brain cells require a consistent supply of oxygen. When that crucial supply is interrupted for even a short time, damage may result. In fact, brain cells begin to die after approximately five minutes of oxygen deprivation.
Diverse Reasons for Oxygen Deprivation
Cerebral hypoxia and anoxia can happen in many different settings. Cardiac arrest, drowning, choking, carbon monoxide poisoning and head trauma can all result in critical oxygen deprivation which often reduces brain function.
Cerebral anoxia or hypoxia may also occur when medical procedures go wrong. In some cases, problems with general anesthesia may cause brain damage. When anoxia or hypoxia occurs in a medical setting, it is important that physicians and other trained personnel react accurately and quickly. When the response is inadequate, medical negligence may be alleged.
Cerebral Anoxia During Labor and Delivery
Sometimes, a baby suffers from cerebral anoxia during labor and/or delivery. When a baby’s brain is deprived of oxygen at such a critical moment, the prognosis is often uncertain.
There are a wide variety of risk factors for cerebral anoxia and hypoxia during labor and delivery. In an umbilical cord prolapse, the umbilical cord comes out of the uterus either before or at the same time as the infant. Umbilical cord injuries may also interrupt proper oxygen delivery to the child’s brain. Sometimes, the baby’s shoulder gets caught behind the pubic bone during delivery. In other cases, placental abruption is the problem – the placenta’s lining separates from the uterus.
Unfortunately, cerebral anoxia in fetuses and newborns may be the result of negligence on the part of the attending physician and/or other medical staff. When it is reasonable to link alleged negligence and cerebral anoxia, it is possible to file a personal injury lawsuit which seeks compensation for losses and expense, including expenses incurred in the future. When an infant suffers from loss of muscle control, paralysis or cognitive impairment, it is possible that the child faces a lifetime of medical care.
Cerebral Anoxia and Traffic Crashes
Cerebral Anoxia may also occur when a traffic accident leads to a head injury. When vehicles collide, the sudden impact can bruise the brain, or worse. Sometimes, tearing of tissue or brain swelling leads to oxygen deprivation and possible brain damage.
There are many medical conditions that may develop or be aggravated by oxygen deprivation in the brain. Some of these are, cerebral palsy, anemia, sleep apnea, lung disease and heart disease. In fact, hypoxia is a major cause of cerebral palsy.
If the crash was the result of another individual’s negligent conduct, it is possible to seek compensation from the responsible party. Compensation is particularly important when brain damage arising from cerebral hypoxia leads to lifetime care requirements.
Needless to say, a case of cerebral anoxia or hypoxia can have a devastating effect on the victim and family members. The long-term emotional pain, psychological stresses and financial costs are often very significant.
If you or a family member has suffered cerebral anoxia or hypoxia because of someone’s negligent conduct, it is possible to discuss your case with a Wisconsin cerebral anoxia lawyer focused on relevant areas of the law. There is no cost to you unless we recover monetary damages on your behalf. We fight hard to get our clients the full compensation they deserve under the law. To learn more, or to schedule a free consultation, please contact us.