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:
    • Blood clot or stroke
    • Shock and heart problems, like heart attack
  • 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 at high altitudes
    • You have exposure to certain poisons or other toxins, such as carbon monoxide poisoning
    • You have an event that is stopping you from breathing normally, such as drowning, choking, or suffucation