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Brain Injuries Caused by Oxygen Deprivation

Syracuse Lawyers for Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

Brain injuries caused by oxygen deprivation may be caused by different kinds of medical malpractice. Oxygen deprivation in the womb can result in a baby’s lifelong brain damage. It can also impact vision or lead to disorders like cerebral palsy. Brain injuries can also be caused by anesthesia mistakes during surgery. If you or a loved one suffered brain injuries caused by oxygen deprivation during a medical procedure, you may have a basis to sue. A dedicated Syracuse medical malpractice attorney can review the facts of your case to determine whether you may have a claim.

Brain Injuries Caused by Oxygen Deprivation

Infant brain damage may be caused by oxygen deprivation, physical trauma during labor and delivery, perinatal infections, and infant jaundice. Infants can suffer anoxic or hypoxic injuries, which are brain injuries resulting from a lack of oxygen. Anoxic brain injuries arise when there is a complete lack of oxygen to the brain. Brain cells die after being deprived of oxygen for four minutes. Anoxic brain injuries can be further subdivided. For example, anemic anoxia happens when blood can’t properly carry sufficient oxygen or there isn’t enough blood in the body to support the brain’s oxygen needs. Hypoxic brain injuries are brain injuries that develop because of a limitation on oxygen supplied to the brain. When the oxygen flow is restricted, brain cells gradually die or are impaired.

Premature babies are often at a high risk of suffering oxygen deprivation. Oxygen deprivation may be the result of a mother’s blood pressure, restricted airways, anemia at birth, getting stuck in the birth canal during delivery, and the placenta separating from the uterus. After delivery infants start to breathe by themselves and there is a brief period in which doctors can treat the problem. Just minutes of oxygen deprivation may result in brain damage and disorders like cerebral palsy, vision loss, or autism.

Using anesthesia, which is necessary for major surgical procedures such as cardiovascular or brain surgeries, adds a significant layer of risk for the patient undergoing surgery. Administering anesthesia requires precision and care in connection with patient monitoring and appropriate diagnosis. If an anesthesiologist doesn’t monitor oxygen while a patient is under, the patient will be at risk of brain injuries caused by oxygen deprivation. Similarly, if the endotracheal tube is improperly positioned, the patient’s airway can deprive the patient of oxygen.


You go to a health care provider trusting that he or she will provide medical diagnosis and treatment to the appropriate standard of care, but unfortunately, mistakes do happen, even when a health care provider is cautious. Not all these mistakes can be considered medical malpractice. In order to establish medical malpractice, you’ll need to prove it’s more likely than not: (1) you were owed a professional duty of care, (2) breach of the professional duty of care, (3) causation, and (4) actual damages. Generally, you must prove these elements to recover compensation for birth injuries to your child as well. In most cases, it’s necessary to rely on expert testimony to establish what the professional standard of care was, breach of the professional standard of care, and causation. A seasoned medical malpractice attorney can help you enlist the testimony of an appropriate expert.

An OB-GYN may breach the professional duty of care in many different ways that lead to oxygen-deprivation. He may fail to perform a C-section when there are signs of fetal distress or when labor has stalled. There may also be mistakes earlier on; for example, an OB-GYN may inadequately monitor a pregnancy and miss oxygen deprivation or a condition that could lead to oxygen deprivation, and eventually brain injuries.

Consult an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney in Syracuse

Whether you’ve been injured or your child has experienced injuries or wrongful death because of brain injuries caused by oxygen deprivation in Syracuse, you may be able to recover compensation for your losses. You can talk to a skillful trial attorney about whether you have a viable birth injury or medical malpractice claim. DeFrancisco & Falgiatano represents patients harmed by medical malpractice in Syracuse, Rochester, and throughout Upstate New York including areas such as Canandaigua, Ithaca, Cooperstown, Auburn, Binghamton, Lyons, Elmira, Wampsville, Utica, Herkimer, Oneida, Lowville, Oswego, and Watertown. Call our firm at 833-200-2000 or contact us via our online form.

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Since the insurance company was unwilling to settle the matter my case ultimately went to trial. At trial Jeff DeFrancisco did an absolutely amazing job by obtaining a very favorable result for me." T.H., Oneida, NY
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