Detection and Diagnosis of Hypoxic Brain Injuries
If you’re aware of how to detect a Hypoxic Brain Injury, you might be able to save the life of a loved one or even your own life. The key to prevention, detection, and diagnosis is education, awareness, and utilizing the availability of information.
The first step to prevention is the importance of acting fast. In situations of emergency, hesitation can be the ultimate risk factor. When a hypoxic brain injury occurs, response is the key to at the very least stopping the injury from becoming severe or even fatal. More information and further education on issues involving cerebral hypoxia means greater preparation and ability to detect and diagnose the situation.
The brain will begin to die and lose brain cells after four minutes without oxygen. Therefore, action must be taken immediately for the preservation of the victim’s life and well-being.
The most likely situations in which someone will suffer from cerebral hypoxia – whether severe or mild – are choking, near drowning, lack of acclimatization in highly elevated settings, deep ocean diving, suffering a lightning strike or electric shock, near suffocation, suffering a stroke, overdosing on prescription drugs or illegal narcotics, or suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning. While there are so many other potential scenarios, these are some basic and common situations in which alertness is of the utmost importance in staving off any serious complications from brain trauma.
The key symptoms of cerebral hypoxia are headaches, muscle spasms, severe confusion, lack of concentration, loss of consciousness, decreased attention span, mood swings, and seizures. If you detect any of these symptoms in you or someone else and you are still capable of taking action, you should seek medical attention for the injured party immediately. While suffering just one of these symptoms is not a situation to induce panic, if multiple symptoms are experienced at the same time, then medical attention should be sought after.
In most cases of diagnosis by a trained medical professional, a physical exam will be required and conducted before anything else happens. This is important so the physician can obtain the victim’s basic readings and find out if there are any other factors coming into play or if it’s a standalone issue. After answering questions regarding medical history, there will be other various tests conducted by a physician to determine the level of severity of the cerebral hypoxia. These tests may include a CT scan, MRI, Electroencephalogram (otherwise known as an EEG), SPECT Scan, and Evoked Potential Test.
A CT Scan is an X-ray of the brain. It is harmless and can provide valuable information. A MRI uses magnetic waves instead of a computer to take pictures of the brain. An EEG measures how much electrical activity is stemming from the brain. A SPECT Scan is like a CT scan, but it measures blood flow to and from the brain. An Evoked Potential Test is similar to the tests that physicians would conduct on children in school by performing basic tests on hearing, vision, and reaction. Other tests might include complex learning tasks and motor control. These can also act as good indicators for the level of severity.
If a person’s skin begins to take on a bluish tone, then there is a serious possibility that there is a stronger severity to the injury. This is often a sign of lack of oxygen from the bloodstream to the brain. The immediate reaction should be to check the pulse and call for emergency medical attention. If a person faints, loses consciousness for any reason, or has a seizure, emergency medical professionals should be alerted immediately. In some rare cases, this could lead to loss of brain function or death.
While it would be impossible to come up with a pinpoint accurate list of what to look for when dealing with a hypoxic brain Injury, it is essential that information and awareness be utilized when dealing with the symptoms and detecting the presence of cerebral hypoxia.
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