Cerebral hypoxia

Below you will find more information about Cerebral hypoxia from Medigest. If you believe that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Cerebral hypoxia it is important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to ensure that you obtain the correct medication or treatment for your condition. There are medical conditions that carry similar symptoms associated with Cerebral hypoxia and therefore the information provided by Medigest is offered as a guideline only and should never be used in preference to seeking professional medical advice. The information relating to Cerebral hypoxia comes from a third party source and Medigest will not be held liable for any inaccuracies relating to the information shown.

Definition

Cerebral hypoxia occurs when the brain cannot get sufficient oxygen supply. Four classifications divide the other forms of cerebral hypoxia. A milder form of the disease is known as diffuse cerebral hypoxia, wherein brain impairment occurs due to low blood oxygen levels. Focal cerebral ischema is a localized reduction in the transport of oxygen from the blood to the brain. Mild strokes may occur, and the neuron damage in this case is irreversible. Cerebral infarction occurs when the oxygen flow from blood to a part of the brain is completely stopped, causing significant and irreversible brain damage. Global cerebral ischema is the last category, wherein the blood completely stops flowing to the brain.

Treatment

Treatment for cerebral hypoxia will depend on the severity of the situation. The main goal is to be able to provide oxygen to the brain. Mild cases will do with inhaled oxygen, but more severe cases will require life support. If the patient is already experiencing seizures as a result of the cerebral hypoxia, medications such as phenytoin, Phenobarbital, general anesthetics, and valporic acid can suppress it. In cases where the patient has already entered a coma, wherein breathing reflexes will need additional support, mechanical ventilation is required. Extreme cases that also cause the heart to stop pumping will require epinephrine, defibrillation, CPR, and atropine may be used to resume the pumping of the heart.

Symptoms and Signs

The symptoms of cerebral hypoxia depend on the severity of the case. Mild cases produce symptoms such as inattentiveness, uncoordinated movement, and poor judgment, as well as a decrease in short-term memory. Prolonged cerebral hypoxia during mild cases will result in problems with motor control and cognitive disturbances. Symptoms will also be visible physically, such as when the skin turns blue. Increase in heart rate will also be evident. Even more prolonged situations would result in loss of consciousness, fainting, seizures, coma, decreased brain stem reflex, and brain death.

Causes

Cerebral hypoxia can be caused by a number of factors that occur internally or externally, which interferes with the brain's functioning in receiving or processing oxygen. These may include drowning, extremely low blood pressure, drug overdose, cardiac arrest, birth injuries, strangulation or choking, asphyxiation caused by smoke inhalation, compression of trachea, high altitudes, carbon monoxide poisoning, or complications with general anesthesia. Other symptoms may be severe cases of asthma, and some types of anemia. An individual working in a nitrogen heavy environment may also be at risk for cerebral hypoxia.

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