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Can Medical Malpractice Cause a Brain Injury?

Can Medical Malpractice Cause a Brain Injury?
Klein Frank, P.C.

Brain injury is often caused by car accidents, falling, being struck by a moving object, sports injuries, and violent attacks. However, there are some cases where a brain injury can result from medical malpractice.

There are a number of circumstances in a medical setting that might result in brain injury, including:

  • Surgical errors
  • Infections obtained during a surgical procedure
  • Medication errors and overdoses
  • Anesthesia errors
  • Failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis of aneurysms, heart attack, or stroke
  • Failure to treat a patient suffering from breathing issues or respiratory distress
  • Birth injuries

Medical Malpractice & Oxygen Deprivation

The brain requires a constant flow of oxygen. Since the lungs transfer oxygen from inhaled air into the bloodstream, the impairment or loss of ventilation causes inadequate oxygen in the blood of the patient. Because the blood delivers oxygen to the brain, the insufficient oxygen levels in the blood stream can correlate to inadequate oxygen levels in the brain.

Preventable medical errors can include instances of oxygen deprivation, which results in significant harm to the brain that can have lasting consequences in the patient’s life. Reduced oxygen supply to the brain can cause impairments in various bodily functions such as cognitive, physical and psychological.

Within minutes of the oxygen supply being interrupted, damage starts to happen as sensitive brain cells begin to die. Continued lack of oxygen can cause seizures, coma, and the patient becoming brain dead.

The following are common effects of oxygen deprivation to the brain:

  • Memory loss
  • Speech difficulties
  • Learning disabilities
  • Lack of physical coordination
  • Numbness and weakness in the arms and legs
  • Inability to perform basic bodily functions
  • Disorientation as to time, place, or person
  • Personality changes

In many cases, brain injuries derived from medical malpractice occur while the patient is sedated. This means that there are no noticeable symptoms other than the patient’s vital signs.

Fortunately, a brain injury has less chance to cause permanent, severe injury if it is treated as quickly as possible. However, the challenge with these type of injuries is to notice, diagnose, and treat the issue causing oxygen deprivation immediately.

If you or someone you love has suffered a brain injury in Colorado as the result of a medical error, contact our Boulder personal injury attorneys at Klein Frank, P.C. and request a free consultation today.