Anoxic Brain Injury Attorney in St. Louis
Anoxic Brain Injury
Anoxic brain injury occurs when the brain is deprived of oxygen and blood flow due to the heart and/or lungs not functioning properly. Medical conditions such as a heart attack or irregular heart beat can lead to decreased blood flow to the brain. Alternatively, large volumes of blood loss, shock from overwhelming infection or trauma, suffocation for any reason, and compression to or blockage of the trachea can also result in a decreased amount of oxygen and blood supply to the brain.
Mechanism of Injury
When the brain goes without blood and oxygen, it quickly uses up the energy available and the cells begin to “starve”. Even if this is only temporary, small groups of cells throughout the brain will begin to die. This allows the little energy left to be used by the parts of the brain that control your heart and lungs, the brainstem. The longer the brain goes without oxygen and blood flow, the more brain cells are killed and the greater effect it will have on the person’s long term outcome.
Frequent causes include:
- Cardiac arrest
- Tractor trailer accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Car accidents
Symptoms of an Anoxic Brain Injury
If the decrease in oxygen and or blood flow to the brain is a gradual process, such as with chronic lung disease or chronic heart disease, there may be no permanent damage to the brain and the only symptoms one may notice are incoordination and inattention. This is also the case with the abrupt onset of loss of oxygen or blood flow that is quickly restored, such as with choking on an object.
With more serious and rapid injuries that result in loss of consciousness, a range of symptoms may be observed – anywhere from a minimally conscious state (someone who may withdraw from a pinprick to the foot or squeeze your fingers when asked to) to a comatose state (someone who does not respond to any stimuli). With the most severe cases, the person is unable to breathe on their own and may need to have their heart restarted by the paramedics or doctors.
Treatment and Prognosis
Appropriate treatment will depend on the degree of injury and how responsive a person is to the doctor. With severe injury, the person may need their heart restarted and need to be placed on a ventilator, a machine that can breathe for you. The primary goal is to restore oxygen and blood flow to the brain.
- Depending on why this happened, you may need special treatment – such as a severe infection will need antibiotics, a heart attack may require aspirin and a blood pressure medication
With an anoxic brain injury, the potential for brain death is very real; this means that the brain was without oxygen and or blood flow long enough that it can no longer perform the functions required to keep you alive – breathing and a heartbeat. Less serious injuries have a chance of regaining consciousness. However, the majority of people with these injuries are in a comatose state for weeks to months and even after they regain consciousness, they often have serious lifelong deficits in mental capacity and ability to function in everyday life.
Trustworthy Legal Representation
Our dependable St. Louis brain injury attorneys have the knowledge and skills to help injured victims seek compensation for their pain and suffering. If you or a loved one has sustained an anoxic brain injury in an accident caused by the negligent actions of another, our lawyers can help. Call us at (314) 322-8515 to learn how we can protect your legal rights.