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What Is an Anoxic Brain Injury?

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One of the unique types of brain injuries that I have dealt with over my career has been birth-related injuries that most often result from a loss of adequate oxygen and blood flow to the brain at or around the time of delivery. We think of those as anoxic brain injuries.

They often require imaging through MRIs, CT scans, and head scans because the condition of the brain evolves over particularly the first twelve months following the injury. It’s important to have MRIs particularly taken every 90 days or so for legal purposes to establish the cause and effect relationship between the loss of the oxygen at birth and the eventual proof of the brain injury.

It’s a very science-driven issue, and in an area where cases are often very aggressively defended, putting the burden on the mom and the child’s lawyer to establish the scientific proof of the brain injury truly being an anoxic birth-related injury, which you can only do with carefully-chosen and serial brain imaging.

An anoxic brain injury in the labor, delivery, and birthing process is usually first perceived on electronic fetal monitoring that can monitor the heart rate and the uterine contractions, and it gives rise to if the child doing well or if they are having an anoxic episode, anoxic simply meaning a lack of oxygen and oxygen-carrying blood flow to the important organs, including the brain. And the kidneys are also quite sensitive.

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