Can CO2 levels of 73 or 74 mmHg during respiratory failure cause some form of brain damage like permanent short term memory loss?

I am a 33 yr old female. Almost 2 months ago I was intubated, on a ventilator and sedated in ICU for a week due to respiratory failure, which was a complication of the flu and severe asthma exacerbation. My oxygen level was ok, but my CO2 level kept rising. At one point a doctor told my husband I might not survive the night because my CO2 was around 73 or 74 mmHg. I read that severe brain damage and death can occur after 75 mmHg. Surprisingly to everyone, I survived, and my CO2 levels went down to normal and eventually I was sent home. Ever since then however, I’ve been experiencing severe memory problems. I forget many conversations and events almost instantly, I can’t remember short lists like I used to, or to do things that I’m told not to forget. I’ve started having to write lists and set timers for things I never needed reminders for. I have difficulty with daily tasks that used to be routine to me. It’s like I forgot what I was doing and need to orient myself again, which is normal occasionally, but for me it’s a constant daily struggle now. It’s insanely frustrating and even my husband is starting to question if I suffered some sort of brain damage. Is it possible my memory issues are from the respiratory failure, and are they permanent?

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Ahmed Fawzy
7:27 pm

High levels of co2 does not cause permenant damage, however low levels of oxygen can cause permenant damage, so what was your oxygen levels readings?
Good Luck

Masr Fawzy
7:35 pm

I believe it’s a brain affection not damage, it could be a sequelle however, training yourself and your memory can be effective, u need to consult specialist to evaluate you

Ayman Darrag
6:05 am

Co2 retention can lead to memory disorders and other cognitive difficulties however it is not permanent,but it can takes a couple of years or more to return to normal..
Getting neurological consultation about taking some vitamins and supplements according to your case after evaluation can help..

Dr.Honey Arora
10:21 am

Thanks for the query..

High CO2 levels can be associated with low oxygen levels and can cause acidemia which can cause temporary or permanent nerve or brain damage..

It can cause dizziness, delirium, hallucinations etc and can be as fatal as coma or death..

You should be under proper medical management to prevent any sudden fatal symptoms..

Hope this helps..