The term anoxic means a total lack of something while hypoxic means a partial lack of, so when an anoxic brain injury is talked about, it refers to a total lack of oxygen to the brain. Most of us know that oxygen is vital to our well being, and if the brain receives inadequate oxygen for four minutes or longer, then brain cells begin to die. After a period of five minutes, permanent anoxic brain injury can occur. Anoxic brain injury is often called cerebral (brain) hypoxia or hypoxic-anoxic injury, HAI, and it is a very serious and life threatening injury.
There are four types of anoxia, all of which can cause damage to the brain that is both serious and can be life threatening, namely, anemic anoxia, toxic anoxia, stagnant anoxia and anoxic anoxia.
Anemic Anoxia occurs when the blood is unable to carry sufficient oxygen to the brain for the brain to function correctly. If the lungs do not perform correctly due to some kind of lung disease, it can lead to inadequate supplies of oxygen reaching the brain which in turn can cause a slow deterioration of the person’s health. Anemic anoxia can be the result of carbon monoxide poisoning, of from chronic anemia, or acute hemorrhaging.
When toxic anoxia is present, it is as a result of toxins being present in the body, and these toxins prevent the oxygen in the blood from being used efficiently. Carbon monoxide poisoning can this type of anoxia.
The third type of anoxia is called stagnant anoxia, or hypoxicischemic injury (HII). This occurs when an internal condition prevents oxygenated blood from reaching the brain. This happens in the case of a stroke, or a heart attack.
The fourth condition is anoxic anoxia, and this is caused when there is not enough oxygen in the air for the body to be able to get oxygenated blood to the brain, and this can occur at high altitudes.
Whether the shortage of oxygen to the brain is caused by disease, choking, brain tumors, suffocation, illegal drug use, or heart attack, the results are the same. The brain is starved of much needed oxygen, and the body may go into a coma as it is unable to function properly without oxygen.
How does this relate to brain trauma injury? When the brain is deprived of oxygen, for whatever reason, the body may present with many of the symptoms seen as the result of a traumatic brain injury.
The severity of the symptoms depends on the amount of tissue that is damaged in the brain as a result of oxygen deprivation, and where that tissue is in the brain.
This is why it is so important to get help immediately if a person becomes unconscious for any reason. Lack of oxygen can lead to an anoxic brain injury, and remember that this can occur after only four minutes.
traumatic brain injury can happen at any age