The impact of a lack of oxygen to the brain

Your brain must have a consistent oxygen supply at all times. Anything that interrupts this puts you at risk. The interruption does not even have to be very long to have a drastic impact on your life — or even to prove fatal.

For instance, if the oxygen is cut off for a mere five minutes, did you know that some brain cells, under normal conditions, will begin to die? This impact is less pronounced in some cases when a person is very cold — such as when they are underwater — but it generally doesn’t take more than a few minutes for massive damage to occur. When many types of brain cells die, they do not regenerate or heal.

This issue can happen in numerous ways if your doctor makes a mistake. A baby who lacks oxygen during birth could wind up with a condition known as cerebral palsy. An elderly patient who has a stroke that is not diagnosed in time could end up with permanent brain damage that impacts mobility. Someone who is given an accidental overdose of strong medications could lose consciousness and suffer brain damage before the doctors can get them the proper treatment.

Again, the short time frame is a real issue. If a doctor makes a mistake, he or she only has a few minutes to recognize the mistake and take corrective action. Every second matters. Any delay could mean that the patient passes away or that the damage grows far worse than it ever should have been.

If a loved one has suffered like this because of a medical error, you may be able to take legal action to seek compensation.