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Anoxic and Hypoxic Brain Injury: What Are They?

November 25, 2021 Brain Injury

Anoxic and Hypoxic Brain Injury: What Are They?

Our brains require a constant flow of oxygen to operate at optimal conditions. Anytime a traumatic incident or medical condition causes our brains to lose the required oxygen level, brain injuries can occur. Here, our brain injury attorneys in San Diego discuss the difference between anoxic brain injuries and hypoxic brain injuries. It is crucial to know the difference between these two types of injuries, though the causes of these injuries are often similar.

What is a Hypoxic Brain Injury?

Hypoxia refers to what happens when the brain does not receive enough oxygen. Typically, hypoxia occurs anytime something interrupts the regular blood flow to the brain. When a person suffers from a hypoxic brain injury, this can lead to significant long-term brain damage.

Individuals can suffer from hypoxic brain injury in a variety of ways. In some cases, this is caused by a traumatic incident that leads to major blood loss. This can include car accidents, acts of violence, surgical mistakes, slip and fall incidents, and other types of trauma. Additionally, near-drowning incidents in hot tubs or pools, smoke inhalation, poisonings, and suffocation can also lead to hypoxic brain injuries.

Hypoxia is also caused by various types of non-traumatic medical emergencies, most commonly cerebral vascular events (regularly referred to as strokes).

What is an Anoxic Brain Injury?

Anoxia refers to what happens when the brain does not receive any oxygen at all. Typically, when a person suffers from an anoxic brain injury, this will be considered more severe than a hypoxic brain injury. Anoxic brain injuries can lead to significant long-term disabilities or death. There are various types of anoxic brain injuries that can occur, including:

  • Toxic anoxia. This occurs if there are chemicals or poisons in the body that prevent the brain from receiving oxygen.
  • Hypoxic-ischemic injury. This type of injury happens anytime the blood carrying oxygen inside the arteries is unable to reach the brain. This often occurs during strokes, various cardiac arrhythmias, or cardiac arrest.
  • Anoxic anoxia. This refers to what happens this person does not receive enough oxygen because they are suffocating.
  • Anemic anoxia. This type of injury occurs if there is not enough blood inside the body to carry oxygen to the brain. This typically is associated with traumatic incidents.

Recovering Compensation for a Brain Injury

Individuals who sustain hypoxic or anoxic brain injuries caused by the careless or negligent actions of others should be able to recover compensation for their losses. It is crucial for brain injury victims or their family members to contact a skilled attorney who can investigate the incident and determine the liability of the other party involved. An attorney will work diligently to gather all evidence needed to prove what happened to the insurance carriers or to a personal injury jury if a trial becomes necessary.

It is important to point out that individuals who have suffered from brain injuries may sustain permanent injuries that necessitate lifelong care. This must be taken into account when working to negotiate total settlements. Often, brain injury victims and their families accept less money than they should because they are in a tough financial situation and need money quickly. However, a skilled lawyer will work diligently to recover enough compensation to ensure that the brain injury victim is properly cared for.