Anoxic and hypoxic brain injuries are generally very severe and deserve thorough treatment and attention. When the brain’s health is compromised, the rest of the body is not at liberty to thrive.
If you suspect that you or someone you know is suffering from an anoxic or hypoxic brain injury, this blog post will introduce you to some of the most common symptoms of these injuries so that you know what to be on the lookout for.
What is a Hypoxic/Anoxic Brain Injury?
Hypoxic and anoxic brain injuries are caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain. When the brain is not getting enough oxygen it is unable to function properly.
Symptoms range from seemingly mild ones like a lack of concentration to severe, lasting symptoms that permanently affect memory and capabilities.
While some areas of the brain are more likely to suffer damage from anoxic injuries, anoxic and hypoxic injuries also have the ability to damage random cells throughout the brain.
Areas that are most commonly affected by anoxic brain injuries are the cerebral cortex, the hippocampus, and the basal ganglia. While damage to these areas may look different, these parts of the brain are vital for memory and motor skill capabilities.
Common Accidents That Lead to Hypoxic/Anoxic Brain Injuries
Hypoxic/anoxic brain injuries occur when there is an interruption of blood flow to the brain.
This interruption of blood supply to the brain results in insufficient oxygen to the brain, which lasting more than a few minutes can result in the death of cells within the brain tissue.
Heart attacks, head trauma, drowning, and strokes are all causes of anoxic brain injury.
Initial Symptoms of an Anoxic or Hypoxic Brain Injury
The body’s response to hypoxic or anoxic brain injuries is often the very thing that lets individuals know that they have suffered an injury.
The body will increase blood flow to the brain in order to provide this vital organ with the amount of oxygen it requires. This sudden increase in blood flow to the brain (sometimes up to twice as much as the normal amount of blood) often kickstarts symptoms that notify the individual of their condition.
Common symptoms of anoxic or hypoxic brain injuries include the following.
Mild Anoxic/Hypoxic Brain Injury Symptoms:
- Difficulty concentrating (shortened attention span)
- Loss of coordination (motor skills)
- Forgetting details & memory trouble
- Affected vision
- Persistent headache
As the condition of anoxia worsens, so will the symptoms, with individuals feeling agitated or confused without reason and their skin taking on a slightly bluish shade — especially around the lips and fingertips. This bluishness in the skin is due to the lowered level of oxygen in the blood.
Mild anoxic or hypoxic injuries should still be addressed immediately. These injuries can digress rapidly and have the ability to permanently alter one’s state of being.
Seeing a doctor if you suspect you have suffered an anoxic or hypoxic injury should be your number one priority.
Severe Anoxic or Hypoxic Brain Injury Symptoms:
Severe anoxic or hypoxic injuries will result in unconsciousness and coma as well as lasting brain damage.
If severe damage has been sustained by the brain due to anoxic injury, victims may transition from a coma into a persistent vegetative state. In a persistent vegetative state, basic bodily and brain functions continue (such as continuous heartbeat, regular blood pressure, and the digestion of food) but all consciousness is gone.
While the victim may still appear to sleep and wake, there is a lack of brain activity and response to the environment around.
In many cases, severe hypoxic or anoxic brain injuries are fatal, offering no hope of recovery.
How to Get Help for Your Hypoxic/Anoxic Brain Injury
Suffering from an anoxic or hypoxic brain injury is a very serious matter. If you have sustained an injury, it’s important that you start taking steps that will lead you towards recovery. Here are two things that you should do immediately following an anoxic or hypoxic injury.
- Get medical help: severe anoxic or hypoxic injuries can lead to death if ignored so you should see a doctor if you have sustained any amount of head trauma and are experiencing symptoms of an anoxic brain injury.
- Contact an anoxic and hypoxic brain injury lawyer: if your anoxic brain injury came as the result of someone else’s actions, it’s important that you aren’t made to bear the financial burden of another’s wrongdoing. Find a brain injury attorney who will represent you and fight for your rights as an anoxic brain injury victim.
Hypoxic/Anoxic Brain Injury Attorney Near You
Brain Injury Law of Seattle is a Seattle-based law firm that works to represent anoxic and hypoxic brain injury victims.
We specialize in brain injury law and have made it our goal to bring justice and hope to victims of traumatic and anoxic brain injuries.
Scott Blair, founder of Brain Injury Law of Seattle has been representing Seattle residents who have suffered hypoxic and anoxic brain injuries for the past 25 years.
Let him be the one to represent you through this difficult time. To set up a consultation with a reliable anoxic brain injury attorney, contact our firm a today.