Our Chicago personal injury lawyers have engaged in a month-long discussion of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and nontraumatic brain injury in recognition of national Brain Injury Awareness Month. Today, our brain injury lawyers continue their exploration of hypoxic-anoxic injury (HAI), a severe and often devastating form of nontraumatic brain injury, looking at the causes of HAI.
There are a variety of health issues, accidents or actions that can cause HAI. The broad types of HAI are:
- Anemic Anoxia: Caused by blood that cannot carry sufficient oxygen to the brain even though blood flow itself is still adequate. Some examples of why this can occur include lung disease, and chronic anemia.
- Toxic Anoxia: Caused by toxins in the system that prevent the blood’s oxygen from being used efficiently, as for example with carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Stagnant Anoxia: Also called hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) or hypoxic-ischemic injury (HII), this is caused by an internal condition that blocks sufficient blood from reaching the brain. Some common causes of this are strokes, heart attacks, and anesthesia accidents. In addition, where newborn babies are deprived of oxygen during birth, as a result of obstetrical malpractice during delivery, hypoxic-ischemic injury, resulting in neonatal encephalopathy or cerebral palsy birth injuries, may develop.
- Anoxic Anoxia: Caused by insufficient oxygen in the air, as for example in high altitudes.
Some of the most common causes of all forms of HAI include respiratory arrest, electrical shock, drowning, heart attack, brain tumors, heart arrhythmia, extreme low blood pressure, carbon monoxide inhalation, smoke inhalation, poisoning, choking, respiratory diseases, suffocation and illegal drug use.
HAI can also result from medical malpractice. A wide range of negligent actions or inactions can result in HAI such as improper monitoring of patients, delayed delivery during childbirth, compression of the trachea, complications of general anesthesia, drug overdose or harmful drug combinations, asphyxiation caused by ventilator/respirator failure or misuse, surgical errors, failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis or treat an underlying medical condition like hypertension or heart attack, and other injuries or complications related to childbirth.
For example, it is estimated that approximately 32% of ischemic hypoxia-anoxia cases are the result of anesthesia accidents, while serious birth injuries such as cerebral palsy are often associated with HAI related to medical malpractice. Our Chicago birth injury malpractice lawyers have significant experience representing children with significant permanent brain damage, including cerebral palsy, as a result of negligence during birth.
HAI related brain injuries dramatically change the lives of families, and can exact a huge immediate and long-term emotional and financial toll. If you have a question about HAI, call today for a Free Consultation with a top-rated Chicago brain injury lawyer at (312) 527-4500.