What are the Differences Between Anoxic and Hypoxic Brain Injuries?

Posted On February 7 2022 | Brain Injury

Brain injuries can result in devastating disabilities. It is not uncommon for individuals who sustain brain injuries to suffer from lifelong symptoms. However, not all brain injuries are exactly alike. Here, we want to discuss the difference between “anoxic” brain injuries and “hypoxic” brain injuries. Even though these types of injuries seem the same on the surface, there are distinct differences that you need to be aware of.

What is a Hypoxic Brain Injury?

“Hypoxia” refers to what happens if the brain does not receive enough oxygen, but it still receives some oxygen. Usually, hypoxia refers to an injury that interrupts the regular blood flow in the body and, subsequently, the blood flow to the brain. If a person suffers from a hypoxic brain injury, this can lead to significant long-term brain damage.

Hypoxic brain injuries can occur in a number of ways. Often, these incidents are caused by traumatic injuries that lead to significant blood loss. This can include motor vehicle accidents, gunshot wounds, stabbings, surgical mistakes, slip and fall injuries, and other types of physical trauma. Additionally, hypoxic brain injuries can occur as a result of near-drowning incidents in pools, hot tubs, or the ocean or as a result of smoke inhalations, poisoning, and suffocation.

Hypoxic brain injuries can also occur as a result of non-traumatic incidents such as strokes and heart attacks. 

What is an Anoxic Brain Injury?

“Anoxia” refers to what happens to the brain if it receives no oxygen. Typically, if a person sustains an anoxic exit brain injury, this will be considered more severe than a hypoxic brain injury as we discussed above. Anoxic brain injuries typically lead to long-term disabilities, if a person survives at all. There are various types of anoxic brain injuries that a person can sustain, including the following:

  1. Hypoxic-ischemic injury. This type of anoxic brain injury happens if the oxygen-carrying blood inside the arteries is unable to reach the brain. Typically, this occurs during cardiac arrhythmias, cardiac arrest, or strokes.
  2. Toxic anoxia. This occurs if chemicals or poisons enter the body and prevent the brain from receiving the oxygen necessary to function.
  3. Anemic anoxia. This type of anoxic brain injury happens if there is not enough blood in the body to bring oxygen to the brain. Often, this happens with traumatic incidents that lead to significant blood loss.
  4. Anoxic anoxia. This anoxic injury refers to what happens if a person does not receive oxygen due to suffocation.

Work With a Brain Injury Lawyer in Boulder

If you or somebody you care about has sustained a brain injury caused by the negligent actions of another individual or entity in the Boulder, Colorado, area, reach out to an attorney immediately. A brain injury lawyer in Boulder can conduct a complete investigation into your claim and gather the evidence needed to prove liability. Ultimately, the goal is to recover full compensation for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering damages, and any other expenses caused by the brain injury. A lawyer will vigorously negotiate with the insurance carriers involved, and they will file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party if necessary to recover full compensation.