i wiki'ed ischemia to see what it had to say:
Since oxygen is mainly bound to hemoglobin in red blood cells, insufficient blood supply causes tissue to become hypoxic, or, if no oxygen is supplied at all, anoxic. This can cause oncosis (i.e. cell death by lysis). In very aerobic tissues such as heart and brain, at body temperature necrosis due to ischemia usually takes about 3-4 hours before becoming irreversible. This and typically some collateral circulation to the ischemic area accounts for the efficacy of "clot-buster" drugs such as Alteplase, given for stroke and heart attack within this time period. However, complete cessation of oxygenation of such organs for more than 20 minutes typically results in irreversible damage.
Ischemia is a feature of heart diseases, transient ischemic attacks, cerebrovascular accidents, ruptured arteriovenous malformations, and peripheral artery occlusive disease. The heart, the kidneys, and the brain are among the organs that are the most sensitive to inadequate blood supply. Ischemia in brain tissue, for example due to stroke or head injury, causes a process called the ischemic cascade to be unleashed, in which proteolytic enzymes, reactive oxygen species, and other harmful chemicals damage and may ultimately kill brain tissue.
Restoration of blood flow after a period of ischemia can actually be more damaging than the ischemia. Reintroduction of oxygen causes a greater production of damaging free radicals, resulting in reperfusion injury. With reperfusion injury, necrosis can be greatly accelerated.