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What is a hypoxic brain injury?

A brain injury is one of the most serious injuries a person can experience. One of these injuries is known as a hypoxic brain injury, or brain hypoxia.

Brain hypoxia occurs when the brain does not receive enough oxygen. This can occur for several reasons. Some of the most common reasons include:

  • Choking
  • Drowning
  • Low blood pressure
  • Cardiac arrest or stroke
  • Asthma attack
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Strangulation
  • Birth injuries

Commonly, brain hypoxia is associated with birth injuries, including cerebral palsy in infants. Cerebral palsy can occur when a baby does not receive enough oxygen during the delivery process. This condition can permanently affect a child's ability to coordinate his or her muscle movements, as well as a variety of other symptoms.

Adults who sustain a hypoxic brain injury can experience a variety of symptoms. Healthline reports mild symptoms commonly include memory loss, trouble concentrating, poor judgment and movement difficulties. In serious cases, people can experience seizures, comas and even death.

People at serious risk of brain hypoxia can include mountain hikers, swimmers, divers and firefighters. People experiencing serious medical conditions that affect a person's breathing are also at a high risk of brain hypoxia. These medical conditions can include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and people experiencing irregular heartbeats or complications with anesthesia.

If you notice mild symptoms beginning to occur, restore oxygen levels in your brain immediately. Unfortunately, there are few remedies if brain hypoxia causes severe damage, so it is important to ensure a continued flow of oxygen to your brain. Seek medical attention immediately if you are experiencing symptoms of a hypoxic brain injury to prevent serious damage from occurring.

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