Fortunately, anoxic brain injuries during surgery are relatively rare. But when brain injuries during surgery do occur, the hospital and surgical team will likely explain that the catastrophic injury was a tragic but unfortunate consequence of unavoidable events. Family members are often dissatisfied with the response they receive from the hospital, and turn to an Ohio medical malpractice lawyer for answers.
Causes of Anoxic Brain Injuries During Surgery
An anoxic brain injury that occurs during surgery is one of the most tragic types of surgical medical malpractice. Anoxic brain injury occurs when the patient’s brain is deprived of oxygen during surgery. Medical mistakes that can lead to an anoxic brain injury during surgery include:
- Delays in treating blood loss during surgery
- Failure to diagnose and treat a myocardial infarction (heart attack)
- Medication errors
- Failure to monitor pumps used for pain management
- Anesthesia errors
- Failure to regulate blood sugar levels in diabetics
Newborns may also suffer from anoxic brain injuries if the umbilical cord becomes wrapped around the baby’s neck during childbirth and the issue is not addressed by the obstetrician.
Symptoms of Oxygen Deprivation During Surgery
The symptoms and severity of a brain injury will vary depending on how long the patient was deprived of oxygen. Common symptoms of anoxic brain injury during surgery include:
- Memory loss (most commonly short term memory)
- Difficulty with words
- Decline in executive functions such as multi-tasking or complex problem solving
- Lack of coordination, also known as ataxia
- Neurological impairment, such as spasticity in the arms or legs
- Loss of consciousness, such as a coma or persistent vegetative state
Depending on the severity of the condition, brain injury can be devastating for the patient and the patient’s family. A brain injury victim is often unable to return to work, and may have difficulty performing basic household tasks, both of which can lead to financial hardship, stress, and a significant change in family dynamic.
Anoxic Brain Injuries During Surgery Can Be Avoided
When a patient survives surgery but has suffered brain damage, it is a virtual certainty that treatment was available which, if provided earlier, would have avoided the brain damage. Therefore, if someone you love suffered an anoxic brain injury surgery, it’s important that you investigate why the brain damage occurred.
Brain Injury Cases Are Complex and Require the Assistance of an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney
Anoxic brain injury cases are incredibly complicated and require the assistance of a skilled and experienced Ohio medical malpractice attorney. Often, the lawyer handling the case will need to engage the services of multiple experts including:
- Neurologists to address the cause of the brain injury
- Radiologists to identify the ischemic, or oxygen-deprived, areas of the brain
- Neuro-psychologists to identify the extent of brain injury; and
- Life care specialists to explain how the patient’s and family’s lives will be impacted in the future
Ohio Medical Malpractice Claims Are Subject to a Short Statute of Limitations
Most medical malpractice claims in Ohio are subject to a very short one year statute of limitations. If you do not file a lawsuit within one year of the surgery, you will be prohibited from seeking relief for your injuries.
While the one-year time limit may sound straight forward, there are a number of complicating factors, such as:
- When did the malpractice occur?
- When did you learn of the malpractice?
- Is your claim subject to the one-year statute of limitations, or do you actually have a different type of claim that might be subject to a different statute of limitations?
The only way to know is to speak with a skilled and experienced Ohio medical malpractice attorney.
If You or a Family Member Was the Victim of an Anoxic Brain Injury During Surgery, Contact an Ohio Medical Malpractice Attorney Today
If you believe you or a loved one has been the victim of medical negligence, contact an Ohio medical malpractice attorney at Robenalt Law today to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case. Call 216-223-7535, complete our online form, or email [email protected].
Tom Robenalt started his litigation career representing doctors and hospitals at a large firm in Cleveland. For the past 20 years, he has used that experience to help victims and the families of those injured by negligent health care providers.