Hypoxic Ischemic Brain Injury
A hypoxic ischemic brain injury, also spelt hypoxic ischaemic brain injury, is damage to the tissue of the brain caused by oxygen deprivation.
The effects of an injury of this kind can range from subtle behavioural changes to serious physical or mental disability and, in many cases, a person with a brain injury will need to make some quite large changes in his or her life.
Claiming compensation is one way of getting access to vital funds to put in place the brain injury support you require, and this brief guide talks you through the process using hypoxic ischemic brain injury as an example.
Investigating a claim for brain injury compensation
Investigating brain injury claims is a complex and often difficult process, with a great deal of evidence required to show how the damage was caused.
There are many ways that medical treatment could leave you with hypoxic ischemic brain injury, including:
- Failure to properly monitor a patient under anaesthesia
- Failure to maintain a patient’s blood pressure
- Leaving a patient vulnerable to extremely low blood pressure during surgery
- Complications during birth, such as the umbilical cord being trapped, which starve a baby of oxygen
In some of these examples, the injury may have been a tragic but unavoidable outcome – medical staff may have done all that they should have done but were unable to prevent the injury.
This is why the first thing to look at when considering a claim for brain injury compensation is whether the injury was avoidable. At first, especially in complex medical treatment, this may not be entirely clear.
A brain injury solicitor will work with medical experts to establish what the correct course of treatment should have been and consider whether the treatment fell below the proper standard. For hypoxic ischemic brain injury, a number of medical experts may be instructed to advise – for example, a surgeon or anaesthetist to comment on whether an operation was carried out properly; an obstetrician and neonatologist to consider a poorly managed birth and a neurologist and neuroradiologist to study damage to the brain.
The first step is to demonstrate that the treatment was not of a proper standard. If it can be shown that the damage was avoidable, the next step is to obtain evidence about the kind of effects the damage will have on the patient and what kind of care and support he or she will require as a result.
In a hypoxic ischemic brain injury claim, your solicitor will instruct specialists in care for people with brain injuries to make assessments of a patient’s likely future condition and needs.
If the claim is successful, the extent of the damage and the level of on-going care required will be reflected in the amount of compensation obtained. Levels of compensation vary considerably but your solicitor will explain to you precisely how the amounts have been calculated.
How do I find out more about the causes of a brain injury?
If you or a loved one have suffered a brain injury but are unsure if it was caused by somebody else’s error, speaking to a brain injury law specialist can be a way to learn more about what may have happened.
You can also find out more by exploring our brain injury information and guides section
What kind of compensation can I claim?
Making a medical claim is about putting the injured person back in the position he or she would have been in if the accident had never occurred.
Of course, in reality this is impossible, particularly with a serious hypoxic ischemic brain injury – however, compensation can help to pay for care, support and adaptations that you need as a result of your injury. This can be anything from help with cooking or finance up to 24-hour home or residential care.
In the case of a child who suffered from a hypoxic ischemic brain injury at birth, support may include therapies such as speech and language, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, adaptions to a house and mobility equipment to help you about.
Some people may feel anxious about making a claim but it is important to remember that any compensation will have been carefully considered by the solicitors from both sides, and you will only be compensated for what you have lost (whether your losses are financial or not).
Speaking to an Expert
Our specialised team of brain injury lawyers have helped many people whose lives have been affected by a brain injury. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.