What is the Prognosis of Cerebral Hypoxia

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Dec 27, 2012

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Quick Bites

  • The prognosis depends on the extent of the brain injury.
  • This is determined by how long the brain lacked oxygen.
  • And, whether nutrition to the brain was also affected.
  • Most people who make a full recovery were only briefly unconscious.

Brain hypoxia, also called cerebral hypoxia, is decreased oxygen in the brain. You are at risk for this condition if you are drowning, choking, suffocating, or in cardiac arrest. Brain injury and carbon monoxide poisoning are other possible causes of brain hypoxia. The condition can be serious because brain cells need an uninterrupted flow of oxygen to function properly.

When a person suffers from a severe case of cerebral hypoxia (hypoxic brain injury), the prognosis obviously means the most to the victim’s family and loved ones. While any serious medical condition can lead to nervousness, anxiety, and depression, Cerebral Hypoxia is one of those conditions that is far from black and white. The severity of the prognosis is determined by how many minutes passed when oxygen did not flow from the blood to the brain. If it was merely a matter of someone fainting and coming to moments later, the victim might suffer from some impaired balance and vomit for a short period of time, but there will not be any long term effects.

Prognosis of Cerebral Hypoxia

If the brain lacked oxygen for only a very brief period of time, a coma may be reversible and the person may have a full or partial return of function. Some patients recover many functions, but have abnormal movements such as twitching or jerking, called myoclonus. Seizures may sometimes occur, and may be continuous.

Most people who make a full recovery were only briefly unconscious. The longer a person is unconscious, the higher the risk for death or brain death, and the lower the chances of recovery.

Image: Getty

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