Anoxic Brain Injuries

The brain, like the other vital organs of the body, requires oxygen saturation. The brain utilizes about 1/5 of the body’s total oxygen. Accordingly, when the brain is deprived of sufficient oxygen supply, it can be severely injured. An anoxic brain injury is one in which the brain is deprived of the needed oxygen because of a hypoxic event. Cerebral hypoxia occurs when there is not sufficient oxygen circulating through the brain to maintain its vitality. As a result, the brain suffers from brain hypoxia, which can lead to severe brain damage or death. Brain cells that do not receive enough oxygen will start to degrade and after a very short time, usually about 4 minutes.

There are several kinds of anoxia that can occur. When the brain is deficient in hemoglobin, which is a chemical in the red blood cells responsible for taking oxygen and circulating it throughout the body, the brain can be injured. Ischemic anoxia occurs when the brain is cut off from blood flow, like in a stroke. Anoxic anoxia takes place when there is not enough oxygen absorbed by the body. This can happen when a person is at higher altitudes and the air is thinner.

The symptoms of hypoxic-ischemic injury can include problems thinking clearly, weakness in the extremities, unable to visualize objects at a distance and unable to follow simple instructions.

The heart pumps blood through the body, but the oxygenated blood comes from the lungs. That oxygen rich blood is then carried to the brain. Anoxic brain damage will occur is the blood flow is blocked or slowed by a stroke, shock or heart attack. Anoxic brain damage can also occur if the heart’s output of oxygen rich blood is compromised because of a disease, such as a pulmonary illness, high elevations, and prolonged exposure to a toxic environment, drowning, choking or suffocation.

There is an increased risk of anoxic brain damage if a person suffers a cardiac arrest or heart attack, is exposed to high levels of electricity (electric shock), heart arrhythmia, overdose of drugs, stroke, choking or suffocation.

The diagnosis of anoxic brain damage is done by a brain MRI or CT scan. In a prolonged surgery where the patient has been ventilated for hours, the post-surgery awakening of the patient is crucial.

Some patients who have had major heart surgery for example may suffer from a form of anoxic brain damage often referred to as “pump head”. This is a rather crude description of a patient condition who has suffered a measurable degree of brain injury attributable to the patient being on the heart lung machine for an extended period of time. It would be up to the surgeons, anesthesiologists, surgical nurses and perfusionists in the surgical suite to be alert to the cardiac output of the patients. The doctors, nurses and staff should be reading the monitors and be alert to the signs that measure oxygenation and cardiac output at all times to be sure the patient is receiving adequate perfusion and oxygen to the brain to prevent and avoid anoxic brain damage during surgery.

Kreisman Law Offices has successfully handled medical negligence cases involving anoxic brain injuries and death to loved ones whose anoxic brain injury or brain death was caused by medical negligence. These injuries and death cases could have been prevented but for the lack of communication of the surgical team, which include the surgeons, anesthesiologists, perfusionists, scrub nurses and circulating nurses.

If you or someone you know has been injured or died as a result of an anoxic brain injury accident, please call us for an immediate free consultation.

Robert Kreisman of Kreisman Law Offices has been handling Chicago and Illinois anoxic brain injury cases for more than 40 years. Kreisman Law Offices has prevailed in trials and settlements in Chicago, Illinois and surrounding communities and has successfully resolved cases for those injured or killed in anoxic brain injury accident cases for these many years.

With our years of experience in trying and settling anoxic brain injury cases, Kreisman Law Offices provides the best possible services to our clients and have achieved unsurpassed results. Our service is unmatched. Please call us 24 hours a day at 312.346.0045 or toll free 800.583.8002 for a free and immediate consultation, or complete a contact form online. There is no charge for a consultation that will include an evaluation of your case, assessment of your damages such as lost income, lost wages, medical and hospital bills, past and future pain and suffering, loss of normal life and wrongful death.

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