Nobody ever expects to ask the question, “What is an anoxic brain injury, and what can I do if it happens to my child?” Childbirth is a medical procedure with inherent risks, and the last two hours of a typical 7,000-hour term pregnancy are the riskiest. In just a few seconds, a lifelong injury or fatality can occur. Obstetricians are required to have four additional years of training after medical school and must carry malpractice insurance to protect themselves.
When you put trust in a medical professional for this big life event, you expect things to go smoothly. Unfortunately, accidents still happen.
When they do, it can be difficult to know who to turn to for help. Should you ever have to ask “What is anoxic brain injury?” know that a catastrophic injury lawyer at Mithoff Law can represent you and your family during these hard times and help you determine the best course of action for your future.
What is an anoxic brain injury?
An anoxic brain injury is an injury caused by not enough oxygen getting to the brain. This injury can happen due to the umbilical cord wrapping around the infant’s neck or due to another complication during childbirth. It only takes minutes without sufficient oxygen to cause a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). To learn more about these types of brain injuries, and our law firm’s approach to these cases, take a look at this article, What is a TBI?
What is the difference between anoxic and hypoxic brain injuries?
Being deprived of oxygen during birth is a leading cause of brain damage in infants. It can happen due to a complete absence of oxygen, referred to as anoxia, or low levels of oxygen described as hypoxia.
Both anoxic and hypoxic brain injuries vary in severity. Some babies can make a full recovery due to the responsiveness of medical professionals and oxygen treatment, while others may develop permanent disabilities such as cerebral palsy.
What are the signs of an anoxic brain injury?
Unfortunately, anoxia and hypoxia are a relatively common hazard of childbirth. Sometimes during delivery, the umbilical cord can be pinched, which causes the baby to completely lose, or lower their oxygen supply. The length of time the baby is deprived of this oxygen supply determines the risk of permanent injury.
Symptoms to watch out for include:
- Elevated fetal heart rate
- Diminished brain functions
- Persistent vegetative state
- Weakened limbs
- Spastic or jerky motions
An examination directly after birth may not show that an anoxic brain injury occurred. Sometimes it takes weeks or months for symptoms to be noticed and milestones to be missed.
Is an anoxic brain injury caused by medical malpractice?
A negligent act can occur during pregnancy, birth, or the neonatal period. Every injury is not a direct result of malpractice; sometimes injuries happen outside of the doctor’s control.
However, an anoxic brain injury may have been caused from malpractice if any of the following occurred:
- Failure to promptly and appropriately respond to signs of fetal distress
- Mismanagement of an issue involving the fetal presentation or umbilical cord placement
- Failure to provide hypothermia therapy to a newborn with HIE promptly
Because the laws that govern medical malpractice are so complex, it’s critical to talk to a personal injury attorney in Houston as soon as you suspect medical malpractice. Our team will help collect evidence and determine if you have a case and how it should be handled.
My child suffered an anoxic brain injury during birth. What should I do?
First of all, we’re terribly sorry you and your family are having to deal with such a difficult situation. You may be wondering, do I need a Houston brain injury lawyer, or can I just work directly with the hospital? The answer is that you need someone outside of the hospital system who will look out for you and your child’s best interests. A Houston brain injury lawyer can help your family during this difficult time by guiding you through the process and standing up for your rights.
Contact Mithoff Law for a consultation
If you find yourself having to ask the question, “What is an anoxic brain injury?” it’s important to know that you are not alone. The Mithoff Law Firm is a nationally-recognized traumatic brain injury lawyers with over four decades of experience handling TBI cases. We are known for our strategic approach to investigation and vigorous pursuit of our client’s best interests.
Over the years, we have established professional relationships with a variety of subject matter experts whose testimony can shed invaluable insight into the cause of a traumatic brain injury.
If you are struggling to understand what an anoxic brain injury is and who you should contact for help, call us at 713-654-1122 today.
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