Anoxic and Traumatic Brain Injuries at Birth: What’s the Difference?

Anoxic and Traumatic Brain Injuries at Birth: What’s the Difference?

by / Wednesday, 18 July 2018 / Published in Birth Trauma
Electrodes illuminating in different colors in brain

Every year, far too many infants experience brain damage around the time of birth and those injuries can potentially have a significant impact on the child’s ability to grow and thrive. But when we talk about brain injuries in newborns, it’s important to understand that brain injuries don’t all fall into one main category. Brain injuries are classified into different categories depending on factors such as how the injury was received and the type of force that caused the injury.

Infants can sustain brin injuries for several different reasons, but some of the most common types of injuries they experience are anoxic/hypoxic brain injuries and traumatic brain injuries. So what’s the difference between these types of injuries?

Anoxic & Hypoxic Brain Injuries

If a baby experiences a lack of oxygen during delivery, they could develop an anoxic brain injury or a hypoxic brain injury. Anoxic brain injuries occur when the brain experiences a complete lack of oxygen while hypoxic brain injuries occur when the brain receives some oxygen, but not enough. The extent of the damage these types of injuries can cause largely depends on how long the child went without oxygen.

Birth asphyxia occurs in approximately 4 out of 1,000 full-term births and when babies are born prematurely, they face a higher risk of experiencing a lack of oxygen during delivery. Several different things can cause a child to lose oxygen during delivery, including problems with the umbilical cord, problems with the placenta, and maternal health conditions such as low blood pressure.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries are caused by some form of physical trauma.  Babies have delicate bodies, particularly if they’re born prematurely so it’s very important for medical professionals to make sure they aren’t taking actions that will hurt the child. If a delivery becomes complicated and difficult, the doctor might need to use birth-assisting tools to help. Birth-assisting tools can be safe when used correctly, but when they aren’t, they can potentially cause brain injuries to the child. In some cases, traumatic brain injuries in newborns can also be caused by a doctor twisting or pulling on a child during delivery.

If your child suffered a brain injury around the time they were born, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a birth trauma lawyer. Regardless of which type of brain injury your child has, they might be facing some long-term effects as a result. The most tragic thing about brain injuries in newborns is that in many cases, they could have been prevented. Knowing that your child was injured is extremely upsetting, but by talking to a lawyer, you’ll be able to get answers to some of your questions and find out what your options are.

At Goodwin & Scieszka, we have experienced attorneys who handle birth trauma cases as well as other childhood injuries.  Contact us today so that we can learn more about your case.