The sudden loss of oxygen can lead to serious brain conditions referred to as anoxia and hypoxia. Anoxia and hypoxia can cause permanent paralysis, long-term brain damage, or even death. Both conditions can occur in a variety of scenarios, such as from a brain injury, birth injury, surgical errors, traumatic injuries, anesthesia error, and exposure to toxins. Given the astronomical costs of treating a brain injury, victims are often left with mountains of medical debt and shattered lives.
If you or someone you love suffered anoxia or hypoxia due to someone else’s negligence, you should not hesitate to contact Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP, to speak to our legal team. Our New York anoxia attorneys can provide thorough legal guidance on how to move forward with a claim for compensation related to your injuries. To schedule a free consultation with a compassionate and knowledgeable legal team, call our office at (212) 986-7353.
Our bodies need a constant supply of oxygen to function, and our brains are no different. In fact, our brains receive up to 20 percent of the total oxygen in the body. When the brain is completely deprived of oxygen, it is called anoxia. On the other hand, when the brain is significantly deprived of oxygen, it is called hypoxia.
If you are deprived of oxygen for at least 15 seconds and suffer anoxia, you may slip into unconsciousness. In turn, hypoxia can result in drowsiness and unconsciousness. At this point, you typically have four minutes before the brain starts suffering irreversible damage. Both situations are extremely dangerous, as the brain can suffer cell death if deprived of oxygen for too long. This can lead to permanent damage, the loss of certain motor functions, cognitive impairments, comas, and death.
Hypoxia and anoxia have a variety of symptoms, including:
- A loss of balance
- Confusion and difficulty thinking
- Memory loss
- Mood changes
There is even a domino-effect that happens once the brain is deprived of a significant amount of oxygen. Since oxygen is used for the metabolism of glucose which provides the energy for all living cells, deprivation from oxygen will result in emotional and neurological thinking impairments.
The brains and lungs are sensitive organs, and there are several ways to suffer oxygen deprivation. Even in a traffic-heavy city like New York, you can still breathe relatively clean air and get a normal amount of oxygen when out of on the street. However, if you are trapped in an enclosed space, you may have a limited supply and can suffer hypoxia without the assistance of an oxygen tank. Anoxia is also linked to drownings, as most swimmers who run out of oxygen pass out and die due to a lack of oxygen. In addition, several chemicals, such as carbon monoxide or dioxide, can deprive the brain of oxygen. This can even occur in a hospital if you are placed under anesthesia during surgery and the doctors do not properly monitor your oxygen levels.
Generally, the most common causes of oxygen deprivation include:
- Trench collapses during excavations
- Building collapses during demolitions
- Tunnel collapses
- Boating accidents involving carbon monoxide exposure
- Exposure to toxins
- Anesthesia errors
- Smoke inhalation during building fires
- Umbilical cord injuries at birth that lead to HIE
The treatment of hypoxia and anoxia depends on the tissue damage caused, the amount of oxygen lost in the brain, and the person's bodily conditions. Following an accident, paramedics and doctors need to restore airflow as soon as possible, which may require CPR or putting the victim on a ventilator. If he or she receives treatment immediately, there may be no lasting damage; however, in some cases, cell death can occur.
Recovering from hypoxia and anoxia can be very expensive, both in terms of immediate emergency medical treatments, which can include oxygen supply, medications, treatment for complications, blood supply, etc., and long-term care. The type of treatment you may need will depend on where in the brain you suffered damage. While some victims have limited motor control, meaning their ability to move and control their muscles, others suffer from mood changes, difficulty speaking, vision problems, memory issues, and hormonal imbalances. This may require physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and even regular meetings with a psychiatrist to make you whole against and allow you to live a normal life.
If you have acquired anoxia or hypoxia because of another person’s negligence, you have the legal right to file a claim for damages. These damages can include compensation for all of your medical expenses for past and future damages, pain and suffering, loss of income potentials, disability, and the wrongful death of a loved one.
Anoxia and hypoxia should never be ignored. If a loved one shows any symptom of a brain injury, you should immediately seek medical assistance. Following a diagnosis, it is also important for you to speak to an attorney to discuss your options. Because there are many ways a person acquires a brain injury, a New York anoxia attorney may be able to review your accident and medical records to determine if your injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence and how you can recover compensation.
The type of claim you can file will vary depending on the nature of the accident. For example, if you were injured while performing your duties at a job, you could file a workers’ compensation claim with your employer. However, if a third-party caused your injuries, such as a property owner or contractor, you may be able to file a personal injury claim.
Given the nature of hypoxia and anoxia, you may be able to file a:
- Personal injury claim
- Workers’ compensation claim
- Construction accident claim
- Medical malpractice claim
- Birth injury claim
- Premises liability claim
Our New York brain injury attorneys at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP, help clients understand the medical and legal issues involved in anoxia and hypoxia cases, as well as in all other types of complicated brain injuries. There are instances when these two medical conditions can go undetected, which is why it is very important that you seek the help of an attorney before any evidence is lost.
Many victims get lost under extensive medical bills because they were not properly compensated in their claims. This is largely due to a lack of understanding about their conditions and because their lawyers are not fully aware of the seriousness of an anoxia or hypoxia injury. All too often, these brain conditions are taken as 'mild,’ when they actually can lead to memory loss, mood changes, and even death. However, with the legal team at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP, at your side, we can advocate for full compensation for your injuries, including the long-term costs of hypoxia and anoxia, because we have an in-depth understanding of brain injuries. Working with our team may be your best shot at getting your life back together and fully recovering.
Filing a claim for compensation can be complex, often requiring extensive research to determine how the accident occurred and who caused your injuries. On top of that, you have to negotiate with insurance companies, who will likely resist providing full compensation. However, if you work with a NY brain injury lawyer at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP, we can handle all of the heavy lifting so that you can focus on recovering. Call our office at (212) 986-7353 immediately to discuss your injury and find out how we can help you.
NY Anoxia and Hypoxia Settlements and Verdicts
$6 Million - Child Suffers Severe Brain Damage During Birth
$2.05 Million - Improper Anesthesia Administration