Hypoxic & Anoxic Process


What is Hypoxic/Anoxic Process

Hypoxic and anoxic brain injuries occur when the brain either receives no oxygen (anoxia) or not enough oxygen (hypoxia) for a period of time. Without adequate oxygen, the brain cannot function properly and brain cells can be damaged or even die.

Many diseases and injuries can prevent oxygen and nutrients from traveling to the brain. Some of the more common causes of hypoxic-anoxic brain injuries include:

  • Cardiac arrest

  • Stroke

  • Anesthesia complications

  • Carbon monoxide poisoning

  • Drowning

  • Strangling

  • Choking

  • Anaphylaxis

  • Suffocation

  • Brain Injury

Common Symptoms

The effects of hypoxic-anoxic brain injuries can vary depending on what parts of the brain are injured and the extent of the damage. Symptoms may include:

  • Fatigue

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Memory loss or issues

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Loss of coordination or motor skills

  • Seizures

  • Movement disorders such as tics and changes in gait

  • Headaches

  • Poor judgement

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Impacted Areas of the Brain

When a loss of oxygen or sustained lack of oxygen occur, every region of the brain can be impacted. Hypoxia and anoxia can result in a lack of oxygen to all parts of the cortical and subcortical areas of the brain. This process often results in a nonspecific diffuse, patchy pattern of reduced blood flow throughout the brain.

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