What Happens If the Medulla Oblongata Is Damaged?

According to Dr. Jeffry P. Ricker, damage to the medulla oblongata can have fatal results. The medulla oblongata is a small part of the brain stem, about 1.5 inches in length, that regulates a number of autonomic processes, such as controlling the diameter of the body’s blood vessels, maintaining heart rate, and controlling reflexes such as swallowing and vomiting. The improper use of medications can also damage the medulla oblongata.