The brain requires oxygen in order to function, and uses approximately one-fifth of the body’s total oxygen. When the brain does not get enough oxygen, it is called a “hypoxic” event. When the brain is completely deprived of oxygen, it is known as an “anoxic” event. The lack of oxygen can cause permanent brain injuries.
If the brain is deprived from oxygen, a cascading series of problems will result. Oxygen is necessary to metabolize glucose. Glucose provides energy for all living cells. Since 90% of the brain’s total energy is used to send electrochemical impulses and maintain the neuron’s ability to send these impulses, a lack of oxygen may produce profound thinking, movement, and emotional impairments.
The most common forms of anoxia are (i) anemic anoxia; (ii) ischemic anoxia; and (iii) anoxic anoxia. Anemic anoxia occurs when not enough blood or hemoglobin is making it to the brain. Hemoglobin is a chemical in red blood cells responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body. This may occur when someone is hemorrhaging from a traumatic injury, such as an automobile collision. Ischemic anoxia occurs when there is not enough cerebral blood flow to carry blood to the brain such as when a person suffers from an ischemic stroke or negligent delivery of a baby. Anoxic anoxia occurs when not enough oxygen is present in the air to be absorbed by the body. An example of this occurs with carbon monoxide poisoning.
Symptoms of hypoxic-ischemic injury include cognitive deficits (thinking problems), weakness in all four extremities, abnormal movements, incoordination, visual disturbances, impaired executive function, and the inability to follow directions.
Utah injury attorney Ryan Springer has litigated many brain injury cases, and understands the complex medical and legal issues. Often, brain injuries are not visible to the naked eye, and they can be difficult to prove to a jury. Ryan relies on nationally renowned experts, including neurologists, neuroradiologists, and neuropsychologists, to help the jury understand the significance of brain injuries. Additionally, Ryan relies on some of the country’s best economic experts who will help develop plans to help pay for the lifetime of medical bills and other costs associated with brain injuries. If you or a family member have suffered a brain injury, call Ryan Springer for a free, no obligation consultation today.