By Brain Injury Law of Seattle

Illustration of Human Brain

Anoxic and hypoxic brain injuries are generally very severe and deserve thorough treatment and attention. When the brain’s health is compromised, the rest of the body is not at liberty to thrive.

If you suspect that you or someone you know is suffering from an anoxic or hypoxic brain injury, this blog post will introduce you to some of the most common symptoms of these injuries so that you know what to be on the lookout for.

A hypoxic injury or anoxic injury can deeply affect an individual’s quality of life, ability to complete daily tasks, advance in their career, or maintain relationships. The brain is such a vital organ that gives us control over our bodies, helps us process information, and experiences emotions, so when hypoxic brain damage is sustained, this may affect a person’s mental well-being, physical capabilities, and happiness level severely.

If you suspect that you or someone you know is suffering from a diffuse anoxic brain injury or hypoxic brain injury, this blog post will introduce you to some of the most common symptoms of these injuries so that you know what to be on the lookout for.

If you’re in need of immediate legal help for anoxic conditions, get in touch with Brain Injury Law of Seattle to speak with an anoxic brain injury recovery attorney.


Anoxic and hypoxic injuries are caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain, resulting in temporary or permanent brain damage. Because the brain is such a vital organ, when there is a lack of oxygen to the brain, the body and mind will be unable to function properly.

Hypoxic and Anoxic brain injury symptoms range from seemingly mild ones like a lack of concentration to severe, lasting symptoms that permanently affect memory and capabilities.

While some areas of the brain are more likely to suffer damage from anoxic injuries, even moderate anoxic and hypoxic injuries also have the ability to damage random brain cells throughout the brain.

Areas that are most commonly affected by anoxic injuries are the cerebral cortex, the hippocampus, and the basal ganglia. While damage to these areas may look different, these parts of the brain are vital for memory and motor skill capabilities.


hypoxic brain injury



The brain requires oxygen in order to function and survive, so if the oxygen supply is cut off, it’s only a matter of time before the brain dies and consequently the body as well.

Health authorities say that an individual will sustain permanent brain damage if the oxygen supply is cut off from the brain for as little as four minutes.

It is unlikely that a victim who has sustained anoxic brain injury will be able to make a full recovery, however, a partial recovery is still possible.


What are some common anoxic brain injury causes?

Hypoxic/anoxic brain injuries occur when there is an interruption of blood flow to the brain and several medical conditions or accidents may result in this.

This interruption of blood supply to the brain results in a lack of oxygen supply to the brain, which lasting more than a few minutes can result in the death of cells within the brain tissue.

Some of the most common conditions that can result in anoxic brain damage include:

  • Cardiac arrest or heart attacks
  • Head trauma (as in the case of physical assault or due to slipping and falling)
  • Almost drowning
  • Strokes
  • Low blood pressure
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Asphyxiation (choking, strangulation, or suffocation)
  • Drug overdose



What are some common anoxic brain injury symptoms and signs that may manifest themselves shortly after the accident?

The body’s response to anoxic or hypoxic brain injuries is often the very thing that lets individuals know that they have suffered an injury.

The body will increase blood flow to the brain in order to provide this vital organ with the required oxygen supply. This sudden increase in blood flow to the brain (sometimes up to twice as much as the normal amount of blood) often kickstarts symptoms that notify the individual of their condition.

Symptoms of anoxic brain injury are detailed in the following section.

Common anoxic brain damage symptoms include:


  • Difficulty concentrating (shortened attention span and confusion)
  • Loss of coordination (motor skills)
  • Forgetting details and memory trouble
  • Affected vision
  • Persistent headache or migraine
  • Inability to control bladder or bowel movements
  • Personality changes
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Seizures
  • Sensory perception issues
  • Sleeping issues or a change in sleeping habits
  • Sudden changes in sex drive or sex function
  • Mood swings, personality changes, anxiety, depression, acting inappropriately

As the condition of anoxia worsens, so will the symptoms, with individuals feeling agitated or confused without reason and their skin taking on a slightly bluish shade — especially around the lips and fingertips. This bluishness in the skin is due to the lowered level of oxygen in the blood.

Mild anoxic or hypoxic brain injuries should still be addressed immediately. These injuries can digress rapidly and have the ability to permanently alter one’s state of being.

Seeing a doctor if you suspect you have suffered an anoxic, hypoxic injury or traumatic brain injury should be your number one priority.


When it comes to severe anoxic brain injury or hypoxic injuries, symptoms are extreme and alarming. You can expect to see symptoms such as unconsciousness, coma, lasting brain damage, or even fatalities when a severe anoxic brain injury is sustained.

If severe damage has been sustained by the brain due to anoxic injury, victims may transition from a coma into a persistent vegetative state. In a persistent vegetative state, basic bodily and brain functions continue (such as continuous heartbeat, heart attack, regular blood pressure, and the digestion of food) but all consciousness is gone.

While the victim may still appear to sleep and wake, there is a lack of brain activity and response to the environment around them.

In many cases, severe anoxic or hypoxic brain injuries are fatal or leave patients with such severe brain damage that there is no hope of recovery.



What is a typical mild anoxic brain injury recovery time? And what sort of anoxic brain injury treatment (both medical and legal) should be sought after?

Every hypoxic brain injury recovery and hypoxic treatment may look different depending on a number of contributing factors. It’s important to always seek out qualified medical and physical care following a brain injury, regardless of how seemingly mild or severe.

Suffering from an anoxic or hypoxic injury of the brain is a very serious matter.

If you have sustained an injury, it’s important that you start taking steps that will lead you toward recovery. Here are two things that you should do immediately following an anoxic or hypoxic injury.

  1. Get medical help: severe anoxic or hypoxic injuries can lead to death if ignored so you should see a doctor if you have sustained any amount of head trauma and are experiencing symptoms of an anoxic injury.
  2. Contact an anoxic and hypoxic brain injury lawyer: if your anoxic injury came as the result of someone else’s actions, it’s important that you aren’t made to bear the financial burden of another’s wrongdoing. Find a brain injury attorney who will represent you and fight for your rights as an anoxic brain injury victim.


Many victims of brain injuries make the mistake every single year of not hiring an anoxic brain injury attorney to work with them through the legal process of pursuing compensation.

This could be the most fatal mistake that a victim of an anoxic brain injury could make, as working with a qualified brain injury attorney comes with a number of benefits that are not easily achieved without the help of a legal professional.

Some of the benefits of working with a hypoxic and anoxic brain injury attorney are:

  • A less drawn-out legal battle.
  • You have empathetic and caring legal professionals to guide you through the most difficult experience of your life.
  • You are statistically far more likely to get a fair settlement for your injuries.
  • You have to carry less of the legal stress and can confidently transfer the burden to your attorney.
  • A specialized anoxic brain injury attorney knows all of the factors that contribute to your settlement request and makes sure that no future medical expenses resulting from your accident are forgotten.
  • A specialized brain injury attorney knows the legalities of brain injury law and understands how to navigate this very particular branch of law.

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Brain Injury Law of Seattle is a Seattle-based law firm that works to represent anoxic and hypoxic injury victims. We specialize in brain injury law and have made it our goal to bring justice and hope to victims of traumatic and anoxic injuries.

Scott Blair, founder of Brain Injury Law of Seattle has been representing Seattle residents who have suffered anoxic and hypoxic injuries for the past 25 years and he wants to be the one to represent you during this difficult time.

If you would like to schedule an intimate consultation with a reliable anoxic brain injury attorney, contact Brain Injury Law of Seattle today.

Your legal situation is within your control and our firm wants to ensure that it stays that way by representing you and building your case in order to help you achieve just compensation for your anoxic brain injury. Contact out traumatic brain injury lawyer today!

Anoxic Brain Injury FAQs

Looking at anoxic brain injury statistics will show you that it is a serious life-threatening injury.  Check out answers to some of the most common questions about the condition.

What Is Anoxia?

People suffer anoxia when the tissues and organs in the body can’t get enough oxygen.

What Is Anoxic Brain Injury?

Anoxic brain injury is what follows when there’s no oxygen flowing to the brain tissues.

What Are the Symptoms of Anoxic Brain Injury?

Anoxic brain damage symptoms include headaches, seizures, general lack of coordination. They’ll also struggle with speaking or eating.

What Causes Anoxic Brain Injury?

Anything that can reduce or shut off oxygen in the brain can cause anoxic brain injury.  Some of the most common include low blood pressure, drug overdose, carbon monoxide poisoning, and severe choking around the neck. Anyone that stays narrowly escapes drowning may also suffer the injury.

What Are the Types of Anoxic Brain Injuries?

The four main types are stagnant anoxia, toxic anoxia, anemic anoxia, and anoxic anoxia.

How Is Anoxic Brain Injury Diagnosed?

Medical professionals who understand how to diagnose anoxic brain injury typically rely on Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Computed Tomography (CT) scans.

What Is the Difference Between Anoxic Brain Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury?

In traumatic brain injury, brain damage only occurs due to physical trauma. In anoxic brain injury, brain damage occurs due to a lack of oxygen.

What Are Cognitive Conditions Associated with Anoxic Brain Damage?

Cognitive conditions associated with anoxic brain damage include problems with concentration and attention, short- or long-term memory impairment, and loss of cognitive skills.

Hypoxia vs. Anoxia Brain Injury

In hypoxic brain injury, the brain can still get some oxygen, but not enough to prevent damage. In anoxic brain damage, the brain suffers damage due to a total lack of oxygen.

How Can You Prevent Anoxic Brain Injury?

Performing CPR and mouth-to-mouth breaths as soon as someone shows signs of hypoxia can help prevent the progression to anoxic brain injury.

What Is the Prognosis for an Anoxic Brain Injury?

The prognosis for severe anoxic brain injury is poor. Many patients don’t recover. However, patients that suffer mild anoxic brain injury can recover fully or partially.

What Treatments Are There for Anoxic Brain Injuries?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is the only effective anoxic brain injury treatment.

Does Medical Malpractice Cause an Anoxic Brain Injury?

Medical malpractice by anesthesiologists, pharmacists, and other health care providers can cause anoxic brain injury.

Does a CT Scan Show Anoxic Brain Injury?

CT scans can show anoxic brain injury by highlighting brain edema.

Anoxic Brain Injury Recovery and Anoxic Brain Injury Life Expectancy: Does It Go Away?

Mild cases of anoxic brain injury can go away completely after treatment. For severe cases, life expectancy is usually cut short to days.

How Much Brain Damage Can Happen Due to Cerebral Anoxia?

The level of brain damage that follows cerebral anoxia depends on how long the oxygen deprivation lasts.

Can I Sue for My Anoxic Brain Injury?

You can sue for an anoxic brain injury claim if someone else’s actions or inactions caused the injury.


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