The symptoms of anoxic encephalopathy include uncoordinated movement, inattentiveness, poor judgement, coma and breathing failure, according to MedlinePlus. While the first three symptoms indicate mild anoxic encephalopathy, the last two occur when the condition is severe.
Anoxic encephalopathy, also known as cerebral hypoxia, is a condition in which the brain loses its normal functioning due to an insufficient oxygen supply to the organ, notes MedlinePlus. It occurs as a result of conditions that disrupt oxygen supply to the brain, such as carbon monoxide poisoning, choking, breathing muscle paralysis, tracheal compression and strangulation. It also occurs when the brain fails to receive oxygen and nutrients as in the case of cardiac arrest, drowning, stroke, arrhythmia and excessive hypotension.
Due to the rapid effect of anoxic encephalopathy, an individual should seek immediate medical care when the symptoms of anoxic encephalopathy appear, to prevent severe brain damage and eventual death, advises MedlinePlus. In the treatment of this condition, doctors address the underlying cause. To determine the cause, a doctor may perform physical exam or tests. Some of the tests to discover the cause of anoxic encephalopathy include brain angiogram, head CT scan, electrocardiogram, MRI of the head and blood tests. Depending on the underlying cause, the doctor recommends suitable treatment options, including heart rate and rhythm control; mechanical ventilation and oxygen; and seizure alleviating medicines such as phenytoin, valproic acid and phenobarbital.