Anoxic Brain Damage
Pronounced: An-OKS-ikEn Español (Spanish Version)
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 four minutes.
Progression of Anoxic Brain Damage
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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
Last reviewedMay 2014by Rimas Lukas, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.