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Cerebral hypoxia causes and diagnosis

If a New Mexico patient suffers an injury that interrupts blood flow to the brain, there is a possibility that they could be suffering from cerebral hypoxia. This condition occurs when the brain is not receiving enough oxygen or nutrients. If a person is suffering a disruption of oxygen and nutrients to the brain, they need treatment immediately as brain hypoxia can result in a serious brain injury or even death.

Cerebral hypoxia can have a wide variety of causes. For example, smoke inhalation during a fire, choking, strangulation, certain diseases that paralyze breathing muscles and even high altitudes could disrupt oxygen flow, which could cause cerebral hypoxia. In cases where both oxygen and the nutrient supply are disrupted, the causes may include drug overdose, a stroke, complications from general anesthesia or even cardiac arrest.

If it is believed that a person is suffering from brain hypoxia, there are certain tests that doctors can conduct. These tests can include a brain angiogram, an echocardiogram and blood tests. Depending upon the severity of the injury and the results of the tests, doctors may attempt to treat the condition by giving the patient certain medications to reduce seizures or fluids and blood products to increase blood pressure. Breathing assistance via a ventilator may also be a treatment option.

Because brain cells can start to die within five minutes from losing oxygen supply, it is crucial that doctors diagnose and treat cerebral hypoxia before permanent brain damage occurs. If a doctor fails to diagnose the condition and the person suffers brain damage or dies, that individual's family could pursue compensation through a medical malpractice claim filed against the doctor and the hospital.

Source: Medline Plus, "Cerebral hypoxia", December 24, 2014

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