Approximately 2.5 million Americans each year are hospitalized or medically treated for traumatic brain injuries. Of that number, almost 250,000 are children. In separate 50,000 cases, traumatic brain injury was listed as a contributing cause of death.
On this day, approximately 138 people will die from a traumatic brain injury in the United States. Traumatic brain injuries are often preventable or foreseeable and may result from someone else’s negligent conduct.
What are Traumatic Brain Injuries?
Anoxic and hypoxic injuries are two forms of traumatic brain injuries (TBI). A traumatic brain injury occurs when an individual sustains a severe injury that adversely affects his or her brain function. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the most common causes of traumatic brain injuries are:
- Slip and fall accidents striking one’s head against another object / “blow” to the head motor vehicle accidents assaults traumatic brain injuries can occur in the workplace, as a result of traffic-related accidents, or in public places such as swimming pools and theme parks.
In some cases, individuals may experience a minor concussion or period of unconsciousness. In more severe cases, the individual who sustains a traumatic brain injury suffers permanent disability or death. It is important to note that just because a traumatic brain injury appears to be mild, it may still impart long-lasting effects, especially if it repeatedly occurs (such as in a sport like football).
Signs and Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of a mild traumatic brain injury include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Headache or a migraine
- Fuzzy or blurry vision
- Sleeping more or less than usual
- Nausea or vomiting
- Difficulty sleeping
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Loss of memory
- Feeling anxious or nervous
Symptoms of more severe traumatic brain injury may include:
- Prolonged unconsciousness
- Partial or total vision loss
- Loss of hearing
- Loss of sense of smell and taste
- Difficulty reading, speaking, writing
- Difficulty understanding spoken words
- Persistent confusion
- Chronic pain
- Sleep disorders
- Physical paralysis
- Lack of inhibitions
- Emotionally instability
- Denial or lack of self-awareness
The symptoms of traumatic brain injury often vary from person to person depending on the type and force of impact. As a result, even severe traumatic brain injuries are often misdiagnosed. This occurs most frequently when symptoms of a traumatic brain injury are delayed and not immediately apparent to medical professionals.
What Are Anoxic and Hypoxic Injuries?
For the brain to function correctly, it requires a constant, steady flow of oxygen. Without oxygen flow to the brain, there is a significant risk of severe and long-term injury. Two main types of traumatic brain injury involve the loss of the flow of oxygen to the brain: anoxic and hypoxic injury. In both of these injuries, the severity of the traumatic brain injury coincides with the length of time the mind is without the flow of oxygen. Both anoxic and hypoxic injury can stem from the same causes, but there are differences between the two injury types.
Hypoxic brain injury occurs when there is a partial disruption of the flow of oxygen to the brain. While recovery from this type of brain injury is possible, hypoxic brain injury has the potential to inflict severe damage, including memory loss or difficulty with speaking or vision. It can also cause a loss of consciousness that imparts severe and long-lasting consequences.
Anoxic brain injury signifies that there is a total lack of oxygen to the brain, thereby disrupting its ability to function correctly. If left untreated, anoxic brain injury can lead to permanent brain damage and even death. The symptoms associated with anoxic brain injury vary depending on the duration of the lack of oxygen. Mild symptoms can mimic those of a hypoxic brain injury and may include light-headedness, dizziness, and increased breathing rate and elevated heart rate. Some individuals who suffer from anoxic brain injury become “brain dead,” and require the use of ventilators in a vegetative state to stay alive.
Call a Maryland Attorney About Anoxic and Hypoxic Brain Injuries
Even when liability for a traumatic brain injury can be readily established, the issue of securing adequate compensatory damages is a separate matter. Where anoxic and hypoxic brain injuries are often difficult to detect, diagnosis and treatment can vary or can be overshadowed by other injuries in the event of a catastrophic accident. For example, even if a motor vehicle accident survivor recovers his ability to speak and walk, his frontal lobe damage, which impacts behavioral activity in the brain, may be more difficult to determine. This damage is significant and can have life-long ramifications for the victim.
Our team of experienced traumatic brain injury attorneys will seek compensation of your immediate medical costs, as well as lost earning capacity, life care costs, loss of consortium damages, and the pain and suffering associated with the accident or injury that caused the traumatic brain damage. This requires extensive investigation and expenditure of resources. We will seek input from experts in traumatic brain injury, such as neuropsychologists and other medical professionals.
If you or someone you love experienced an anoxic brain injury, hypoxic brain injury, or any other traumatic brain injury as a result of an accident or injury, call our attorneys today. Our team at Ketterer, Browne & Anderson is dedicated to working tirelessly to secure compensation and justice for our clients.