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How Long Can Your Heart Stop Before Brain Damage

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What Are The Long

The long-term consequences will depend on the severity of the cerebral anoxia and on how much irreversible damage has occurred in the brain. If there has only been mild or short-lived anoxia, there may well be recovery back to a normal or near normal level of functioning.

However, if the anoxic injury has been more marked the outcome is less certain and there are likely to be long-term effects. The nature of these problems will vary from person to person, depending on the severity of the injury and the brain areas affected.

There is considerable overlap with the effects of other kinds of acquired brain injury. However, the selective vulnerability of particular regions of the brain to anoxia also gives some distinctive features to this type of injury. A wide range of difficulties can occur, although not all are necessarily seen in every individual.

Physical effects

Damage to the;cerebral cortex, the;cerebellum;and the;basal ganglia;may lead to limb weakness and disturbances of movement, balance and co-ordination. There may be spasticity or rigidity, with increased muscle tone. Anoxic injury to the basal ganglia may lead to abnormal movements, including tremor, involuntary writhing movements and brief, jerky movements .

Visual disorders

Executive dysfunction

Emotional and behavioural changes

Hormonal imbalances

What Is A Cardiac Arrest

Cardiac arrest is the sudden loss of cardiac function, when the heart abruptly stops beating. A person whose heart has stopped will lose consciousness and stop normal breathing, and their pulse and blood pressure will be absent. Unless resuscitative efforts are begun immediately, cardiac arrest leads to death within a few minutes. This is often referred to by doctors as “sudden death” or “sudden cardiac death .”

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How Long Before Death Occurs

Once the heart stops, there is no further distribution of oxygen-rich blood. Any remaining oxygen in the body is used up by cells. Death is not determined solely by cessation of a heart beat. Stopping of breathing and brain function are other factors that need to be considered.

Brain cells will die in approximately 4 to 6 minutes without any circulating blood carrying oxygen to it. If there is no restoration of heart function and reoxygenation of blood within 10 minutes, death will very likely occur thereafter. This time span may be altered to a limited degree by very low environmental temperatures.

It is also important to understand that even if the heart starts pumping and oxygen is being distributed again within minutes, there is still a possibility of some degree of brain damage. A person may therefore not survive without the assistance of ventilators, depending on which part of the brain is affected.

Clinically Dead The Blurred Line Between Life And Death

Infant Brain Damage

19 June 2014

Sometimes, the line between life and death can seem blurred. In one recent case, a woman was erroneously declared dead after having a heart attack and wound up freezing to death in a body bag in the morgue. Another woman gave birth to a baby three months after she technically died. Then, there was a case of a skier who became submerged under freezing water for hours, but was revived and suffered no brain damage.

These and other cases reveal how hard it can be to distinguish the living from the dead. With the advent of mechanical ventilators, the clear-cut definition of death has now given way to other, more clinical definitions.

But these terms, such as “brain death” and “circulatory death,” can create ambiguity about who is dead and who isn’t, experts say.

What is death?

Despite its frequent use, the term “clinical death” doesn’t actually have a consistent meaning, said Dr. James Bernat, a neurologist at Dartmouth College’s Geisel School of Medicine in New Hampshire. In most hospitals, the doctor in charge of a patient’s care makes the death determination, and there aren’t universal guidelines for when to make that call, he said.

“You’re dead when a doctor says you’re dead,” Bernat told Live Science.

Until the 1950s, death was considered to be the point when any one of the vital functions heartbeat, electrical brain activity or respiration ceased. Once one part of the system failed, then the others would soon shut down as well, the reasoning went.

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Rehabilitation Of Hypoxic/anoxic Brain Injury

The principles of rehabilitation after cerebral anoxia are the same as for other types of acquired brain injury. The goal is to provide support from an integrated team with a range of specialist skills, able to help with the different problems which may occur and to support each individual to achieve the best possible outcome.

The outlook for anoxic brain injury can be uncertain and different specialists have expressed quite varied views on the timescale of recovery, based on their own individual experiences. Good improvement within the first month after an anoxic episode suggests that the outcome may be more favourable.

The most rapid recovery is usually in the first six months, and by about one year the likely long-term outcome will have become clearer. However, improvement may continue for much longer after brain injury, certainly for several years, although the steps may become more modest and gradual after the first few months. Adequate rehabilitation from the earliest possible stage is vital in order to achieve the best outcome.

How Does A Stopped Heart Lead To Death

Oxygen is essential for life. Cells use it along with nutrients like glucose to produce energy. This energy maintains all the essential processes that keep us alive. As a result, when the heart stops then there is insufficient oxygen for the cells to continue with normal metabolic functions. Cells die and within minutes this leads to death. The brain tissue is the most oxygen-sensitive. Once the brain is affected to a sufficient degree, death is inevitable.

Read more on sudden cardiac death.

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Bringing People Back From The Dead

A doctor says people can be revived several hours after they have seemingly died. Should this change the way we think about death?

Carol Brothers can’t recall the exact moment she died.

“I know it must have been a Friday around lunchtime, because we’d got back from shopping,” the 63-year old says. “I can’t remember getting out of the car.”

Her husband David has much clearer memories of that day three months ago. He opened the front door of their Wiltshire home and saw Carol lying down, gasping for breath, the colour rapidly draining from her face.

Carol had had a cardiac arrest – her heart had stopped beating. Luckily, an elderly neighbour knew the rudiments of cardiopulmonary resuscitation and quickly began to work on her chest.

Paramedics soon took over, and at a point between 30 and 45 minutes after her collapse – no-one noted the exact time – Carol’s heart started beating again.

“While 45 minutes is absolutely remarkable and a lot of people would have written her off, we now know there are people who have been brought back, three, four, five hours after they’ve died and have led remarkably good quality lives,” says Dr Sam Parnia, the director of resuscitation research at Stony Brook University in New York.

Most people regard cardiac arrest as synonymous with death, he says. But it is not a final threshold.

Doctors also have new ways to care for patients after their hearts have been restarted.

This is where Carol Brothers was again in luck.

How To Optimize Your Childs Prognosis

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As a parent, you have a key role in helping your child heal and move past his or her brain injury.; Together with your childs healthcare team, you will provide support for your child at home and school. Of course, you want what is best for your child, and you want them to have every opportunity to thrive.

There are some things that you can do to optimize your childs prognosis, such as:

  • Talk to your childs doctors about things you can do at home to help your child.
  • Work with therapists and create a list of activities that you can do at home with your child to support what they are learning during therapy sessions.
  • Consider family counseling with a psychologist or psychiatrist who is experienced with brain injury cases. This can help your entire family better understand the changes that may happen in your home.
  • Encourage your child to set small, reasonable goals. Praise him or her when those goals are met. Be supportive and encouraging when they are not.
  • Develop a lifestyle routine for your home and family that is as normal as possible.
  • Reach out to your community for support. There are often state and local networks dedicated to families suffering from certain types of injury or illness.
  • When its time for school, work with your childs teachers to develop a plan for academic success. Your child may need special accommodations or an individualized education plan .

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Duration Of The Anoxic Episode

The outcome will be determined by how extensive the damage to the brain has been. This will depend on the length of time the brain was deprived of oxygen, which can often be estimated from information about what has happened. For example, it may be known that it took 15 minutes to restore a normal heart beat after a cardiac arrest, or that someone was immersed in a swimming pool for six minutes in a near drowning incident.

The Ticker Tapes Podcast

Ripon was one of the 30,000 people to have an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest each year in the UK, and he probably wouldnt be here if those two strangers hadnt have stopped, called 999 and started CPR. Hear his story and other real experiences from people living with heart and circulatory diseases.

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How Is A Cardiac Arrest Treated

Starting immediate CPR is vital as it keeps blood and oxygen circulating to the brain and around the body. A;defibrillator;will then deliver a controlled electric shock to try and get the heart beating normally again.

Public access defibrillators are often in locations like train stations and shopping centres. Anyone can use one and you don’t need training to do so.;

If you’re with someone who’s having a cardiac arrest, call 999, start CPR;and use a defibrillator;if theres one nearby. Follow instructions from the 999 operator until emergency services take over.

What Is Infant Brain Injury


Over 1 million people currently have some form of brain damage in the United States, and an overwhelming amount of these people are infants.; Brain damage occurs in many forms and can impact various parts of the body. An infant may experience a variety of disabilities and long-term effects on his or her development, depending on the type of brain damage and the severity of the injury

The medical costs associated with infant brain damage can be astronomical, even reaching millions of dollars each year.; Infant brain damage typically occurs during pregnancy, during the delivery process, or shortly after birth.; A variety of factors can cause infant brain damage, and its important to look out for any signs if you suspect your baby is injured.

Infant brain damage can occur in any part of the brain. However, there are three parts of the brain that are most commonly affected by birth injuries. These are:

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Alcoholism & Cardiovascular Issues

The American Heart Association should not

Some of the potential cardiovascular issues associated with using alcohol include:

The same factors associated with recovery from neurological damage as a result of abstaining from alcohol apply to recovery from cardiovascular issues when one chooses to abstain from alcohol. However, in most cases, the full extent of the damage produced by chronic and heavy alcohol use on the cardiovascular system is not fully resolved. Typically, any reversal of damage occurs rapidly in the first months to the first year of abstinence and then slows down following that. Individuals need to also pay attention to other lifestyle factors, such as diet, exercise, getting plenty of rest, stress management, etc., in order to experience their full potential of recovery.

How Long To Reverse Effects Of Alcohol Abuse

Long-term use or abuse of alcohol has been empirically demonstrated to be associated with many different types of negative health issues and damage to numerous organ systems in the body. Volumes of studies and numerous books are devoted to investigating these effects and any attempt to list all of the potential negative effects associated with alcohol use/abuse would require a volume of works. Some of the major areas affected by alcohol abuse and how some of this damage is resolved once an individual stops drinking are discussed in this article.

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Why Does The Brain Need Oxygen

The brain represents just 2% of a person’s body weight, yet it uses about 20% of the body’s oxygen supply. Without it, the brain can’t perform even the most basic functions. The brain relies on glucose to power the neurons that control everything from conscious functions like planning and thought to automatic, unconscious processes like managing heart rate and digestion.

Without oxygen, the brain’s cells cannot metabolize glucose, and therefore cannot convert glucose into energy.

When your brain is deprived of oxygen, then, the ultimate cause of brain death is inadequate energy to power the brain’s cells.

Life After Life: Does Consciousness Continue After The Heart Stops

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    How can people brought back from death after cardiac arrest report having experienced lucid and vivid memories and recollections without a functioning brain? The study of near-death experiences is challenging the idea our consciousness fades to black when our body expires.

    He could see a nurse and doctor, a bald, chunky fella dressed in blue hospital scrubs. He watched as they frantically worked on his body, which was remarkable, considering he was, essentially, dead.

    The man had suffered a cardiac arrest. Normally there is no measurable, meaningful brain activity after the heart stops beating. Within two to 20 seconds the brain flatlines.

    But the man would later tell researchers that he could see an unfamiliar woman beckoning from a corner up in the ceiling. I cant get up there, he remembered thinking to himself, and then the next second, I was up there, looking down at me.

    He said he saw his blood pressure being taken, and a doctor putting something down his throat. He saw a nurse pumping on his chest. He accurately and vividly described the people, sounds and events of his resurrection.

    Dr. Sam Parnia estimates the man experienced conscious awareness for three to five minutes in the absence of detectable brain activity, a time, he has said, when no human experience should be happening whatsoever.

    Hes now conducting AWARE II, and would welcome Canadian collaborators.

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    Abstinence May Restore Some Functions But Not Others

    Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.

    If you or a loved one are struggling with substance use or addiction, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area.;

    For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.

    Methamphetamine can cause progressive and sometimes profound damage to the brain. The question is whether the damage is reversible once a person stops using meth. Unfortunately, the answer is rarely simple.

    While it’s possible that some damage will start to reverse when a person stops using meth, other types of damage are harder to turn back. What we do know is that any restoration of brain function is only possible after a sustained period of complete abstinence.

    How Is Cardiac Arrest Treated

    When someone suffers a cardiac arrest, their heart must be made to start beating again as soon as possible. This means calling an ambulance and doing cardiopulmonary resuscitation until it arrives.

    Once the ambulance arrives, the paramedics may continue CPR, and connect the person having the cardiac arrest to a machine called a defibrillator. This sends an electrical current to the heart to try to start it pumping again. The person will then be transported to hospital and admitted to a coronary care or intensive care unit , where they will receive further treatment.

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    Causes Of Brain Death

    Brain death can happen when the blood and/or oxygen supply to the brain is stopped.

    This can be caused by:

    • cardiac arrest ;;when the heart stops beating and the brain is starved of oxygen
    • a heart attack; when the blood supply to the heart is suddenly blocked
    • a stroke;;when the blood supply to the brain is blocked or interrupted
    • a blood clot;;a blockage in a blood vessel that disturbs or blocks the flow of blood around your body

    Brain death can also be caused by:

    Is Alcohol Brain Damage Reversible

    Video shows Kansas officer tasering Bryce Masters for so ...
    • Is associated with damage to the neurons in all areas of the brain
    • Inhibits the functioning of every brain mechanism
    • Alters the activity of the neural pathways in the brain
    • Results in an increased risk to develop neurological diseases and disorders, such as seizures, stroke, brain cancer, and dementia

    The determination of how much physiological and functional impairment someone who has abused alcohol will continue to experience is dependent on:

    • The length of time the person abused alcohol and how much alcohol was typically consumed
    • Whether or not the individual used alcohol in conjunction with other drugs, including tobacco
    • Family history and genetic factors
    • Other general health factors, such as the individuals dietary habits, the amount of exercise they typically get, the presence of any co-occurring conditions, etc.

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