How Does Cerebral Hypoxia Occur?

Hypoxia Sign & Stethescope on a Doctors DeskCerebral Hypoxia or Hypoxic Brain injury is a lack of oxygen to the brain. The severity of this injury depends largely on the amount of time the brain went without an adequate supply of oxygen. The faster the oxygen returns to the brain, the better the prognosis.

It can be brought on by a variety of injuries that affect how blood moves through the body, such as cardiac arrest or arrhythmia, stroke, extremely low blood pressure, head trauma, carbon monoxide or other chemical inhalation, or complications from anesthesia.

Generally mild cases of cerebral hypoxia involve lack of oxygen for a matter of seconds up to a few minutes time. These cases can result in memory loss, slight coordination problems or trouble with decision making, all of which usually improve with treatment.

However, brain cells begin to die in as little as five minutes without enough oxygen to the brain. If untreated, hypoxia can turn into anoxia, a total depletion of oxygen, seizures, coma or brain death. Symptoms of any brain trauma or blood flow issue should be taken seriously and inspected by a medical professional. In the case of hypoxia, every second counts.