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How can nearly drowning cause brain damage?

On Behalf of | Aug 26, 2021 | Slip & Fall Accidents

A fun time in a swimming pool can turn into a horrific event if you begin drowning. While this could lead to a tragic end, it is possible another swimmer could help you out of the water and resuscitate you. However, even nearly drowning can still have lifelong consequences.

If you start drowning, you experience a lack of oxygen flow into your body. As the Cleveland Clinic explains, a person who goes through a momentary loss of oxygen may suffer brain damage.

Causes of a hypoxic-anoxic brain injury

In the event your brain does not receive adequate oxygen, you may experience cerebral hypoxia. If you cannot ingest any oxygen at all, your brain may suffer anoxia. The medical community refers to the effect of both conditions as a hypoxic-anoxic brain injury.

A lack of oxygen causes your brain cells to die. Because doctors cannot reverse brain injuries or revive dead brain cells, this kind of injury is permanent. The longer you go without enough oxygen or any oxygen at all, the worse the injury progresses and it may lead to death.

Effects of a hypoxic-anoxic brain injury

If you survive a near-drowning incident, the resulting brain damage may give you disabilities for the rest of your life. You may have problems with your senses or with swallowing. You could also experience issues maintaining your balance or with concentration. You may find it hard to swallow or to speak. Some people suffer from muscle spasms.

There are individuals who only suffer mild cerebral hypoxia and recover without apparent disabilities. It depends on how long your brain has gone without oxygen. Conversely, severe hypoxia may cause a coma or a persistent vegetative state. These possibilities make it imperative to take safety measures with a swimming pool to avoid permanent injury and disability.

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