Many brain injuries are caused by a blow to the head, which shakes the brain inside the skull. Car accidents, slip and falls, and sports injuries are common examples. As the brain twists and turns, axons get damaged and neural signals are interrupted, leading to impairments.
But other injuries stem from reduction in oxygen flow to the brain. Without oxygen, nerves will die in a matter of minutes, and the repercussions can last a lifetime. If you have suffered a hypoxic injury, contact Ladah Law Firm to speak with a brain injury lawyer. Below, we identify critical facts you need to know about these injuries and encourage you to contact our firm to learn more.
Hypoxic Injuries: Common Causes
Some of the most common causes are:
Swimming pool or hot tub accidents. A person who nearly drowns will struggle to breathe, which can reduce oxygen flow. Although you might ultimately be rescued, the reduction in oxygen can damage nerves. Near-drowning accidents stem from falls or diving into the shallow end. Young children who cannot swim are more prone to near-drowning accidents.
Medical malpractice. Anesthesia errors can result in hypoxic brain injuries, especially when the medical team does not properly monitor a patient’s signs.
Defective products. A product which causes strangulation could result in hypoxic brain injuries. Children can almost choke on a small toy or get their necks caught in the slats in a crib.
Fires. Smoke inhalation can lead to oxygen deprivation, so anything which causes a fire could cause a hypoxic brain injury.
Symptoms of a Hypoxic Brain Injury
Some symptoms show up immediately, such as:
- Problems concentrating
- Loss of coordination
- Loss of consciousness
You should go to hospital soon after an accident to be checked out.
Longer term repercussions of brain hypoxia include:
- Impaired memory
- Difficulty talking
- Vision impairment
- Irritability, impulsiveness, and behavioral changes
Most long-term impairments will depend on the part of the brain that was injured. For example, Wernicke’s area is instrumental in helping a person understand language, while the parietal lobe is key to spatial awareness and perception.
Young children can also experience learning disabilities if they suffer a hypoxic injury. In fact, you might not realize your child suffered a birth injury until years later, when they do not progress as fast as other children.
The Prognosis for Recovery
We wish there was a pill someone could take to make their symptoms disappear. Unfortunately, once nerves in the brain are damaged by oxygen deprivation, they tend not to regenerate or form any new connections. It’s possible to make improvement—but difficult.
You should go to the hospital soon after the accident, even if you feel fine. Many people are admitted into the intensive care unit. As Headway explains, seizures are common after a hypoxic injury, and ICU staff can monitor your vital signs and provide oxygen.
Certain factors will influence your ability to recover, including:
- Age. Those over 50 tend to make less improvement than younger victims, though your overall health matters, too.
- Duration of oxygen interruption. The shorter the duration, the better your prospects of recovery.
- Rehabilitation services. Many patients recover some function with rehab, including physical or speech therapy. Occupational therapy can also help people with impairments learn new ways of taking care of themselves, such as cooking or bathing.
Costs Associated with a Hypoxic Brain Injury
These are serious injuries because many impairments are permanent. Generally, those suffering traumatic brain injuries have better success rehabbing and recovering lost function. With a hypoxic injury, you and your family could suffer lifetime medical bills, including at-home care if you are seriously injured. These lifetime costs often strain any family’s budget.
Serious brain injuries can also lead to long-term unemployment, especially if language skills are impaired. You or a loved one might never work again, which results in substantial loss of income over the course of a lifetime.
These injuries also cause considerable pain and suffering, not to mention emotional distress. A Nevada personal injury claim should seek fair compensation for all losses.
Speak with Us about Your Brain Injury
A hypoxic injury is a type of catastrophic injury which can turn a life upside down. You need an experienced legal team by your side as you seek a settlement for your brain injury. Call Ladah Law Firm today at (702) 252-0055 or submit your information online. We have deep experience in swimming pool accidents, premises liability claims, and medical malpractice. We can review your right to compensation for injuries caused by someone else’s negligence.