In many situations, a few minutes, or even a few moments, greatly affect future events. That’s definitely true with regard to medical malpractice. A few moments in the doctor’s office or delivery room can mean the difference between a successful outcome and a serious injury. If a medical mistake that caused brain hypoxia has impacted your family, contact our Michigan brain hypoxia lawyers today and we will begin fighting for you.
The Michigan medical malpractice attorneys at Buchanan Firm know the fight starts before the contestants enter the ring. So, our brain hypoxia attorneys in Michigan diligently prepare your case, in partnership with our on-staff medical professionals. Then, when the bell rings, we come out swinging and aggressively protect your rights. Finally, we stick with the plan and do not give up until we obtain the best possible result under the circumstances.
Brain hypoxia, or cerebral hypoxia, simply means lack of oxygen to the brain. Other terms include focal cerebral ischemia, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), diffuse cerebral hypoxia (DCH), cerebral infarction, and global cerebral ischemia. HIE may be the most commonly-used substitute term. Birth trauma and heart attacks usually cause this condition.
In many situations, patient oxygen saturation level is critical. To avoid injury, blood oxygen saturation must be at least 95 percent. Anything below 86 percent usually causes a permanent brain injury.
Early brain hypoxia symptoms include short term memory loss and difficulty performing complex tasks, like talking and thinking at the same time. Advanced symptoms include cognitive disruption, loss of motor control, seizure, coma, and brain death.
As mentioned, birth trauma often causes brain hypoxia. If the baby does not move quickly down the mother’s narrow birth canal, the umbilical cord may wrap itself around the baby’s neck. In less than five minutes, babies may develop cerebral palsy and other advanced HIE symptoms.
Much like the rest of us react when the pressure is on, many doctors make rash decisions in these situations which have serious consequences. These decisions sometimes include forceps, vacuum extractors, and other mechanical delivery aids. Other doctors apply too much manual pressure (i.e. they pull too hard on the baby) and serious birth injuries.
Infant brain hypoxia/cerebral palsy is generally not a degenerative condition, so it usually never gets worse. However, cerebral palsy is also incurable, so it will never get better.
Heart attacks and other cardiac episodes, like strokes, disrupt the flow of oxygen to the brain. Unfortunately, many doctors ascribe the aforementioned confusion and memory loss as shock from the medical episode. Shock usually passes in time, but only increased oxygen to the brain can correct brain hypoxia.
By the time patients develop advanced symptoms, brain hypoxia is much harder to treat. Doctors can increase the blood flow to the brain, but if they increase it too much, the treatment could cause more problems than the hypoxia.
Anesthesia errors also cause adult brain hypoxia. If the doctor administers too much medicine, the heart slows down too much, thus impairing the flow of oxygen. By the time the patient wakes up, advanced hypoxia may have already set in.
Additionally, some anesthesiologists improperly intubate patients. Intubation allows doctors to quickly administer additional medication during emergencies. But improper intubation may block the blood flow to the brain.
In all these cases, medical malpractice damages usually include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Additional punitive damages are often available as well.
A few moments of neglect often cause brain hypoxia and other serious conditions. For a free consultation with an experienced Michigan brain hypoxia lawyers, contact Buchanan Firm. Our personal injury lawyers routinely handle matters in Kent County and throughout Michigan.