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NeuroRehabilitation. 2003;18(4):291-8.

Adult survivors of severe cerebral hypoxia--case series survey and comparative analysis.

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Down Lisburn H&SS Trust, Thompson House Hospital, Lisburn, Northern Ireland, UK.


Over 16 years, Wilson [31] saw and assessed 567 patients, 18 (3.2%) had a primary diagnosis of cerebral hypoxia. The present patient survey includes all referrals for assessment, management/advice and neuropsychological rehabilitation to a part-time clinical neuropsychology service, who were seen by the first author over a five year period (October 1995-2000). Of the total patient sample (n = 168), 13 (7.7%) had incurred hypoxic damage from a variety of causes; [3] carbon monoxide poisoning (smoke inhalation), [3] cardiac arrest, [1] accidental alcohol and drug overdose, [1] near (partial) drowning, [1] near hanging (suffocation), [2] respiratory arrest following prolonged status epilepticus, [1] respiratory arrest following severe pneumonia and [1] following Addisonian crisis. The survey includes a sub-group of patients in vegetative and minimally responsive states on referral. Wilson [31] highlighted that considerable variation in cognitive functioning is likely to be observed depending on (a) nature or cause of the hypoxic insult and (b) the degree of anoxia/hypoxia experienced itself. The results of the present survey when compared with Wilson's earlier work provide a larger total data-set from which to draw conclusions and has implications for practitioners who see such patients and are involved in their multidisciplinary management and rehabilitation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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