Hypoxic and Anoxic Brain Injury

Medical Information Provided By: Dr. Krista Kurtyan, M.D.
Legal Information Provided By: Hartley Hampton, J.D. and Christopher King, J.D.

Lawsuits for Hypoxic & Anoxic Brain Injuries

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, intrauterine hypoxia and birth asphyxia are the tenth leading cause of neonatal death. Hypoxic and anoxic brain injuries occur when little to no oxygen reaches the infant’s brain during labor or delivery. Without oxygen, the brain can sustain serious and permanent damage. What might cause a lack of oxygen to the fetus during childbirth? Many factors could contribute, including:

  • Umbilical cord strangulation or compression
  • Prolonged labor
  • Placenta separation
  • Uterine rupture
  • Vaginal delivery of large fetus
  • Maternal anemia

Should a serious event like one of these occur, it is the physician’s responsibility to respond appropriately to mitigate risk and prevent harm to the mother and child as far as it depends on them. When physicians fail to take the appropriate steps in these high-risk situations, anoxia or hypoxia can ensue, causing brain damage that can lead to a number of other conditions, such as cerebral palsy.

You may have a case if any of the following describe your situation:

  • Your baby was not breathing after delivery
  • Your baby came out with a bluish tint
  • Your baby’s eyes are not tracking / can’t focus

Brain injury that is detectable within 48 hours of birth usually indicates hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), a condition that can manifest itself in severe cognitive and developmental delays and motor impairment. You may not notice that anything is wrong until later, but if you are noticing any indication that your baby is not developing properly after birth, contact your doctor and then contact the Houston birth injury lawyers at Hampton & King.

More about Hypoxia and Anoxia

Hypoxia and anoxia refer to the condition of little to no oxygen levels circulating through the body. Hypoxia describes lowered levels of oxygen, where there is still some oxygen, but not enough for the brain to function properly. Anoxia occurs when there is no oxygen at all, and is far more dangerous.

Both conditions have the potential to damage the brain. If not caught early, the damage can be permanent or fatal. The oxygen transfers into the cells, keeping them alive. A disruption in their oxygen level can keep them from performing effectively.

While it is more difficult to observe hypoxic and anoxic distress in babies than in adults, it is not impossible. Doctors should look for jerky motions and lowered heart rates. If they do suspect that the baby might be in danger of hypoxia or anoxia, they can administer tests to be sure.

Common tests that detect hypoxia and anoxia include:

  • CAT Scan of the head
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG)
  • SPECT Test

In some cases, if the doctors detect and respond quickly to hypoxia or anoxia, they can prevent permanent brain damage. Unfortunately, if they do not monitor the baby properly, they can fail to detect the lack of oxygen, meaning no corrective action is taken and the baby suffers permanent damage. Some of the main brain injuries caused by hypoxia and anoxia include cerebral palsy, mental disabilities, and limited mobility.

Infant hypoxia and birth asphyxia have been linked to intrauterine growth restriction, massive pulmonary hemorrhage, and respiratory distress syndrome. These conditions are among the most expensive to treat in U.S. hospitals. In fact, four out of the top 10 most expensive medical conditions to treat are linked to hypoxia/asphyxia.

Seek the Justice Your Baby Deserves! Call Today at (713) 489-0993!

Our hypoxic and anoxic brain injury attorneys at Hampton & King are ready to help you. We have over 60 years of experience helping victims of medical negligence and malpractice. We believe that all babies deserve the opportunity to have full, healthy lives. They should not have this taken away from them because their doctors or physicians failed to follow regulations and safety rules.

If your baby sustained brain injuries because of hypoxia or anoxia, where the doctors did not treat the condition in time, contact us today! We have helped our clients recover the compensation they are owed. We are not happy with small settlements. We fight to make sure our clients receive compensation for all of the damages sustained as well as the pain and suffering it causes. Call today to schedule a free consultation with our hypoxic and anoxic brain injury lawyers in Houston!

Call (713) 489-0993 for your free case consultation.
Let us get you answers and review your options today.