What is the treatment for hypoxia?

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Bernard McGuay

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What is the treatment for hypoxia?
« on: 24/12/2008 15:54:42 »
Bernard McGuay asked the Naked Scientists:

Hello Chris and the Team,

url=http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/podcasts/]what a show![/url]. I really enjoy it.

I was wondering whether you would be able to enlighten me about the following question: In Intensive Care units Hypoxia is often quoted as the largest risk, but what are the treatments?

Thanks ever so much and keep it up!

What do you think?


Offline DrN

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What is the treatment for hypoxia?
« Reply #1 on: 27/12/2008 23:18:43 »
Hypoxia is basically deprivation of oxygen. As you say, there is an increased risk of this while in ICU, due to the fact that patients are often dependent on rebreathing machines. High altitude (thin air) is another key cause.

Hyperventilation is the body's standard response to hypoxia, as it tries to breathe harder to get more oxygen into the lungs.

Treatment in the hospital scenario seems to be to just increase the proportion of oxygen in the gas mix! I'm not familiar with the details, so maybe someone else can elaborate?