Anoxic Brain Injury

A brain needs about 15% of the heart’s cardiac production to have continuous cerebral circulation. Blood circulation supplies oxygen and nutrients such as glucose, vitamins, minerals, and other essential chemicals for the brain to be functional.

When no oxygen is delivered to the brain, this will result in anoxia. After four minutes without oxygen, brain cells will start to die.


ABD or Anoxic Brain Damage can be owed to other comorbidities like respiratory or cardiovascular diseases being predominant causes. People with no underlying respiratory or heart diseases can still fall to ABD and are usually unprevented, especially if it is accidental in nature.


Once an artery is blocked or a blood vein is bursting, the flow of oxygen that sustains the brain will cease.

Asthma and Pneumonia

People with respiratory diseases have a higher risk of suffering from anoxia. Because these diseases contribute to breathing difficulties, there is a possible delay in the delivery of oxygen to the brain in the event of an asthma attack. During these attacks, the airways narrow, and coughing uses up the remaining oxygen.

Asphyxiation through strangulation, drowning, and suffocation

A person may immediately die if there is a force or an object obstructing the pathways where oxygen passes through the blood. For example, when a person is drowning, water is jammed into the airway, making it impossible for the air to enter.

Smoke inhalation

Smoke and carbon monoxide inhalation cause the tracheobronchial tree to inflame. The chemicals present in it are enough to decrease the bronchial blood flow that is leading to the edema of the airway.

High Altitude

The higher the altitude, the lower the partial pressure of oxygen. Therefore, as the oxygen is low so thus the integration into the blood causing lesser oxygen supply through the capillaries to the brain. For this reason, climbers are observed to have lesser mental and visual acuity from the middle to the end of their journey.


The priority for a doctor is to try and get a person’s oxygen levels back to normal. This could include performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or using a ventilator to help increase a person’s oxygen levels. If treated immediately, it will alleviate other damages linked to anoxia.

Therapies are needed when a patient’s breathing and blood circulation are stabilized.

  • Physical therapy for fine motor skills and ability to balance the body when walking or moving around
  • Speech therapy for slurred speech.
  • Counseling is necessary to confront issues brought on by anoxia
  • Occupational therapy is necessary to retrain a person’s skill in taking care of oneself, such as hygiene and dressing up
  • Recreational therapy can help a person discover new hobbies and learn few interests.


Anoxic Brain Damage can have irreversible effects on a patient. Depending on the damage inflicted to the areas of the brain, it might take longer to have a partial or full recovery. Even after a physical recovery, some patients may find themselves unable to return to their normal pace and routine. There will be some long-term effects such as visual impairment, memory problems, and even disturbances to body movements and coordination. However, it is not guaranteed to be permanent. Be patient with the therapy options provided by your care provider and religiously follow a care plan.