Hypoxic brain injury is caused by a decrease in the supply of oxygen going to the brain. It differs from 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 injuries 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 psyiatrists, 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.