Hypoxia: the other kind of brain injury

| Oct 6, 2020 | Medical Malpractice |

When people in the Beaumont area here about a brain injury, the first thought may be that the victim suffered a blow to the head or some other trauma.

These sorts of injuries are aptly named traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs and can lead to serious and life-long complications. In the worst-case scenario, a Texan with a brain injury may be comatose or permanently disabled and require constant care. Even minor TBIs can cause ongoing emotional and physical problems.

Hypoxic brain injuries can have the same devastating results as a TBI

Like every other part of the body, the brain needs oxygen to survive. After four or so minutes of not receiving adequate oxygen or hypoxia, the brain tissue will start to die.

Once it does so, that portion of the brain will no longer function correctly, meaning that a victim can lose the ability to do even basic things like speak or swallow. In other words, hypoxic brain injuries are just as serious as TBIs.

Hypoxic brain injuries happen for a number of reasons. For example, a stroke, that is, a blocked blood vessel in the brain can cause a hypoxic brain injury. Likewise, exposure to toxins or the inability to get oxygen at all can cause a hypoxic brain injury.

Medical malpractice can also cause hypoxic brain injuries

Unfortunately, negligent doctors and medical staff can cause their patients to suffer a hypoxic brain injury.

For instance, in about 20 of every 1,000 births, the child will develop hypoxia during the birth process because, for some reason, he or she is no longer receiving enough oxygen from the mother.

Without prompt diagnosis and action, the baby is at risk of dying and also may develop serious and permanent disabilities, including cerebral palsy or cognitive impairment.

Adults can also suffer a hypoxic brain injury in part because of the negligence of a doctor. For example, a misdiagnosis of a mild stroke can mean that a patient will later suffer a much more severe stroke which causes a hypoxic brain injury.