The human brain needs adequate oxygen to function and survive. When oxygen levels in the brain fall below normal, it’s called hypoxia — and it can lead to permanent, life-altering injuries.
What causes hypoxia?
Hypoxia can be caused by several medical conditions, including severe asthma and heart attacks. However, it can also be the result of an unexpected injury that interrupts the victim’s breathing. Some common situations that can lead to hypoxia include:
- Sports injuries, particularly those among football players and boxers, where blows to the head are common
- Drowning (or near-drowning) incidents, including those that happen to athletes who participating in competitive swimming or diving
- Car accidents that cause serious head or chest injuries
- Strangulation or suffocation (whether deliberate or due to work-related accidents)
- Smoke inhalation from a fire
- Chemical inhalation during exposure to toxins
- Drug overdoses (even in medical settings) or allergic reactions to drugs
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- A mismanaged birth of an infant
The longer someone suffers hypoxia, the more severe their potential injuries. Some of the most severe injuries include coma, seizures and death, but victims can also suffer from memory loss, poor judgment, personality changes, problems with motor function and control and damage to their vision.
In addition to the direct effects of hypoxia on the victim’s brain and body, the long recovery period is often troubled with complications like blood clots, pneumonia and bedsores — which all require additional treatment.
The outlook for individuals who suffered cerebral hypoxia varies greatly. The only certainty is that their injuries are severe and it will take time to recover. If you suffered hypoxia or your loved one suffered from a lack of oxygen to the brain after an accident, find out more about your potential right to compensation.