Hypoxic brain injury is caused by a decrease in the supply of oxygen going to the brain. It differs from an anoxic brain injury because anoxia means there is no oxygen going to the brain. That does not mean that a hypoxic brain injury is any less severe.
Patients must still be ventilated and other life-saving measures must be taken. Hypoxia can cause coma, seizures and, even, brain death. A major consideration with hypoxia will be how long the brain did not receive an adequate supply of oxygen, and that is, in many cases, unknown.
Causes of Hypoxic Brain Injury
Carbon monoxide poisoning complicates medical treatment because it can continue to cause additional damage to the brain for days or weeks after the event.
Near drowning, strangling, choking on food, suffocation, cardiac arrest, and head trauma can all cause hypoxia.
Prospects for Recovery
Like most everything else related to head trauma and brain injury, it depends. First, of course, it depends upon the severity of the hypoxia. How much time passed while the brain was not receiving enough oxygen.
The longer a person is unconscious, the more potential damage is being done to the brain. A second “depends” is the cause of the hypoxia. As has already been mentioned, carbon monoxide poisoning can continue to produce problems, and that complicates recovery.
Throughout this site, you will read that brain injury are specific to the individual survivor. All brain injuries, regardless of how they happened, share common problems and common strategies for developing a successful life after brain injury.
Family members will know more about life changes than anyone else. It is very important that family members keep a journal to record such information. That information will then be shared with professional personnel such as psychiatrists, speech therapists, occupational therapists and any other members of the recovery team. Or, those notes will be used to develop strategies at home for everyday living.
Brain Injury Journal
A Brain Injury Journal is very much like a diary, but its uses go far beyond that of an ordinary diary. Journal entries can track your progress as you learn more about your new self and adapt to your new life as a brain injury survivor.
A brain injury journal can provide much-needed information for your attorney when and if any legal cases are prepared on your behalf.
“Knowledge is Power to a Brain Injured Person“
As we pointed out in our book, Brain Injury Survivor’s Guide, brain injury survivor Donna Jones wrote everything in her diary, both the good and the bad. You will want to do the same.
Family members should also keep a journal.
Various brain functions may be disturbed that have not yet been recognized. When a brain injury victim leaves the hospital, they are, more or less, leaving a relatively secure environment. But now they find themselves in the outside world of normal people.
Social interaction will reveal psychosocial abnormalities. We like to call those behavioral problems because, after all, that’s exactly what they are. These types of problems need to be written down with details. Family members will recognize them long before the victim does.
Not only does your lawyer need to understand the difference between before and after, but you also need a starting point from which to begin developing compensatory strategies.
The brain injured person really didn’t have to make many decisions while in the hospital. Outside, every few minutes requires a decision. Impaired executive functions will quickly show this to be a problem.
A brain injury journal is an essential tool for problem-solving and for providing valuable information to your attorney. It allows you to record the problem, record details about the problem, develop a compensatory strategy and, then, track the results of implementing that strategy.