Anoxic Brain Injury (TBI) is caused by a lack of oxygen going to the brain. The results are just as life-changing as if the victim had survived an automobile accident but suffered a traumatic brain injury.
The brain begins losing brain cells after only four minutes without oxygen. There are very few microwave meals you can cook in that short amount of time. Please understand that when a brain loses brain cells, it's not you losing your car keys. Lost, in this context, means dead!
Dead brain cells cannot be revived.
Our book, Brain Injury Survivor's Guide, was written to provide help to brain injury victims, as well as their family and friends. Our nineteen-plus years of experience living with brain injury is the result of Beth suffering an anoxic brain injury.
Causes of Anoxic Brain Injury
- Blood carrying oxygen cannot reach the brain. A blood clot is a common block that stops oxygenated blood.
- Lung disease can prevent blood from picking up oxygen as it passes through the lungs. The blood is not prevented from reaching the brain; it just doesn't have a sufficient supply of oxygen to deliver. This is also known as hypoxia. Beth contracted ARDS (Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome), a form of lung disease.
- Access to chemicals such as carbon monoxide as well as other toxins are a third method of preventing oxygen from getting to the brain. In this case, the blood contains oxygen and it gets to the brain. But the poisons present in the person's system prevents the brain from using the oxygen.
Reducing Your Risk of Anoxic Brain Injury
- Learn to swim. Near drowning, as you might expect, prevents oxygenated blood from reaching the brain.
- Avoid the choking game. This is a game that has become far too common among young people in which they choke themselves in order to feel the high that comes from a lack of oxygen. Yes, several have died. Yes, several have brain injuries.
- Learn the Heimlich maneuver so you can help someone who is choking. Choking blocks the airway and prevents oxygen from getting to the lungs to be picked up by the blood and passed to the brain.
- Use extreme care around electricity. A strong electrical shock can stop your heart, preventing oxygen from being pumped to the brain. Even if the heart gets restarted, remember, you have only four minutes before brain cells begin to die.
- Stay away from chemical toxins and illegal drugs.
- Always watch children when they are near water, and that includes when they are taking a bath.
- Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home and have your home heating unit checked at least once a year for carbon monoxide leaks. A couple of years ago, our heating unit was disabled by the serviceman because of such a leak. He even took the control unit with him when he left the house to prevent me from restarting our gas heater. (He evidently thought I knew a lot more than I do about gas heaters!)
- Make certain any chemicals you have in your home cannot be reached by children.
Stroke is another common cause of anoxic brain injury. In many cases, though, the person is treated for the stroke and treated to prevent another stroke, but receives no brain injury rehabilitation.
It is our goal to provide as many strategies as we can to help all brain injury victims compensate for the parts of their brain that are not working the way they once did.
"Knowledge is Power to a Brain Injured Person."
We will not get hung up on terminology. We will not argue about whether you had a head injury or a brain injury. We will provide you with information and knowledge to make your life better.
Please find more information at Brain Injury Online.
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