How long can the brain go without oxygen before damage

Breaking Point: How Long Can Someone Go Without Breathing?

how long can the brain go without oxygen before damage

Indeed, your brain can be injured even when nothing comes into Free divers routinely train to go long periods without oxygen, and the current record holder held his breath for 22 minutes without sustaining brain damage!.

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Breathing has always been synonymous with life. Why is the air around us so critical to our existence? How long can we go without it before facing irreparable damage? And what about those miraculous times individuals seemingly bucked all expectations, and survived extended periods without air? Humans are aerobic creatures, meaning we require oxygen to release energy and exist. We take in oxygen through respiration we move air in and out of the lungs, and blood takes oxygen to the cells of the body.

First, one must clarify that everyone dies of "brain death. The brain can survive for up to about six minutes after the heart stops. The reason to learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation CPR is that if CPR is started within six minutes of cardiac arrest, the brain may survive the lack of oxygen. After about six minutes without CPR, however, the brain begins to die. Prompt resuscitation allows the physician time to assess and treat the damaged brain. Medication and mechanical ventilation permit tissue oxygenation, but severe brain damage or a prolonged period without oxygen or glucose causes the death of the brain.

Cerebral hypoxia occurs when there is not enough oxygen getting to the brain. The brain needs a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients to function. Cerebral hypoxia affects the largest parts of the brain, called the cerebral hemispheres. However, the term is often used to refer to a lack of oxygen supply to the entire brain. Brain cells are very sensitive to a lack of oxygen.

The NINDS supports and conducts studies aimed at understanding neurological conditions that can damage the brain, such as cerebral hypoxia. The goals of these studies are to find ways to prevent and treat these conditions. Cerebral hypoxia refers to a condition in which there is a decrease of oxygen supply to the brain even though there is adequate blood flow. Drowning, strangling, choking, suffocation, cardiac arrest, head trauma, carbon monoxide poisoning, and complications of general anesthesia can create conditions that can lead to cerebral hypoxia. Symptoms of mild cerebral hypoxia include inattentiveness, poor judgment, memory loss, and a decrease in motor coordination. Brain cells are extremely sensitive to oxygen deprivation and can begin to die within five minutes after oxygen supply has been cut off.

Cerebral hypoxia

In general, the brain can withstand up to three to six minutes without oxygen before brain damage occurs, but this may vary from person to person. If the brain goes without oxygen longer than this, serious and often irreversible damage is likely to take place.,


Cerebral Hypoxia Information Page






  1. Dixie L. says:

  2. Randy M. says:

    Search Disorders

  3. Wayca V. says:

    For full functionality, it is necessary to enable JavaScript.

  4. Gisberto C. says:

    This can occur when someone is drowning, choking, suffocating, or in cardiac arrest.

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