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What Causes Anoxic Brain Injuries?

Brain injuries are considered catastrophic injuries because they significantly and negatively impact a victim’s quality of life and often hinder their ability to hold gainful employment. An anoxic brain injury occurs when the brain is deprived of oxygen. On average, the human brain can survive up to 4 minutes without direct oxygen. When deprivation occurs, neural cells suffer a process called apoptosis and begin to die en masse. This can lead to severe brain damage and even death. In fact, a person may experience the symptoms of brain damage after just 30 seconds of oxygen deprivation.

Common causes of anoxic brain injuries include:

  • Suffering a stroke
  • Damage to the throat or windpipe
  • Oxygen deprivation during the birthing process
  • Choking
  • Traumatic assault, such as being choked
  • Drug overdoses
  • Allergic reactions causing anaphylactic shock

The short-term and long-term symptoms of an anoxic brain injury vary depending on the individual, the type of injury, and the affected area of the brain.

Short-term symptoms include:

  • Confusion
  • Headaches
  • Changes in behavior
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Numb limbs

Long-term symptoms include:

  • Changes in behavior
  • Intense headaches
  • Memory problems
  • Sudden depression or anxiety
  • Physical pains

It’s important to seek medical attention immediately if you’re experiencing oxygen deprivation. Medical professionals can diagnose your condition and determine the cause of your injury. Anoxic brain injury treatments involve healing any contributing health issues and administering physical, psychological, and occupational therapies.

The 4 Categories of Anoxic Brain Injuries

Medical professionals have categorized anoxic brain injuries into 4 separate categories. These classifications vary depending on the severity of the symptoms and the source of the injury.

  • Diffuse cerebral hypoxia
    • Mild to moderate brain injury
    • Minimal impairment caused by low oxygen levels
  • Focal cerebral ischemia
    • Oxygen deprivation is focused in a single brain region
    • This area may suffer brain impairment
    • Typically caused by a stroke
  • Global cerebral ischemia
    • Absolute oxygen deprivation to the brain
    • Leads to severe brain damage and mental impairment
  • Cerebral infarction
    • Oxygen deprivation affecting multiple brain regions
    • Leads to severe brain damage and mental impairment
    • Typically caused by a stroke

Seek Legal Guidance

Contact the Austen brain injury attorney at The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC if your anoxic brain injury is the result of another person’s negligent actions. A personal injury lawsuit may award you damages that can help you afford essential medical treatments and ongoing professional care. Because we understand the financial difficulties associated with a catastrophic injury, we work on a contingency fee basis, so you don’t pay any attorney fees unless we win your case.

We offer 24/7 legal guidance. Contact our Austen brain injury attorney at (512) 326-3200 to schedule a consultation.

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