The brain is the master overseer of our bodies, governing most of its functions. To remain alive and well, the brain cells need oxygen and nutrients. When they fail to receive enough oxygen and nutrients, these cells begin to die and we lose function in the part of the body governed by the area of the brain that dies.
Our blood carries oxygen to our brains. Two ways account for why the oxygen fails to reach the brain. These are:
- Not enough blood goes to the brain
- The blood is not carrying enough oxygen
Why Does Blood Fail to Reach the Brain
- Heart attack
- Heart rhythm abnormalities
- Drug overdose
- Injuries to the newborn in the perinatal period (the time just before, during, and after birth)
- Extremely low blood pressure
Reasons for Blood Not Carrying Enough Oxygen
- Inhaling smoke such as during a fire
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Diseases that interfere with the movement of the muscles that help us breathe
- High altitudes
- Pressure on the trachea or windpipe
Our brain cells are exceptionally sensitive to lack of oxygen. They begin to die in as little as five minutes from the time they are deprived of it.
Lack of oxygen in the brain is a life-threatening situation requiring emergency attention to prevent permanent brain damage, damage to the rest of the body, and death.
The fact that the brain controls most every function in our body makes damage to this vital organ so devastating. Brain damage from lack of oxygen can harm us through all stages of life, from birth to old age.
Lack of Oxygen During Birth
When the newborn brain doesn't receive enough oxygen during the birth process, disastrous results such as cerebral palsy can occur. Five to 10 percent of the cases of cerebral palsy are thought to result from oxygen deprivation. The disorder can also result from injury to the fetal brain.
The effects of cerebral palsy can range from mild to severe. Cerebral palsy is actually a group of disorders that may affect the functions of the brain and nervous system including:
If your baby was born with cerebral palsy, you may have a legal claim. For more information, contact a cerebral palsy lawyer today.