Anoxic Brain Damage

(Anoxic Brain Injury; Hypoxic Brain Injury)

Definition

Anoxic brain damage is injury to the brain due to a lack of oxygen. Hypoxia is the term to describe low oxygen. Brain cells without enough oxygen will begin to die after about 4 minutes.
Progression of Anoxic Brain Damage
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Causes

Oxygen is carried to the brain in the blood. Anoxic brain damage may occur if:
  • Blood flow to the brain is blocked or slowed. This can happen with:
  • The blood flow is normal but the blood is not carrying enough oxygen. This may happen if:
    • You have lung disease
    • There is a lack of oxygen in the air, which may occur at high altitudes
    • You have prolonged exposure to certain poisons or other toxins, such as carbon monoxide
    • You have an event that is stopping you from breathing normally, such as drowning, choking, or suffocation

Risk Factors

The following accidents and health problems may increase your chance of anoxic brain damage:

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