When many people in the Kansas City area think of a brain injury, they may think of someone suffering a severe blow or other trauma to the head. These sorts of brain injuries are relatively common in connection with car accidents, falls and the like, but they are less so within the walls of hospitals and clinics.
However, a Missouri resident can also suffer what medical experts refer to as a hypoxic or anoxic brain injury. In these sorts of cases, the brain does not actually get physically damaged, at least not directly. Instead, the brain gets deprived the oxygen it needs to survive and stay healthy.
In an anoxic brain injury, the brain goes without oxygen altogether. In a hypoxic brain injury, the brain gets some oxygen, but not enough for its cells to remain healthy and alive.
While a number of circumstances can cause this sort of brain injury, medical malpractice is often a contributing factor. For instance, strokes frequently lead to this type of brain injury, since the end result of a stroke is inadequate oxygen to the brain.
If a doctor misses the early warning signs of a stroke or fails to treat a stroke properly, the doctor can rightly be held accountable for a brain injury that results. Likewise, blood clots and other conditions that arise in the course of other medical treatments can cause a stroke.
On another related note, errors in the administration of drugs or anesthesia can cause oxygen deprivation which can in turn lead to a brain injury.
As with traumatic brain injuries, the consequences of a hypoxic or anoxic injury can be severe. For example, assuming a victim survives, he or she could wind up in a long-term coma. Even less severe injuries can cause permanent disabilities and health problems.
Someone who feels that poor medical care contributed to a loved one's brain injury may have legal options available.