Hypoxia occurs when the amount of oxygen reaching the organs (heart, brain, muscles…) is insufficient.
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A little lesson in express medicine. Oxygen (O2) is supplied to the body through the air we breathe.
Once it reaches the lungs, it passes into the bloodstream and attaches to red blood cells (especially hemoglobin) for transport throughout the body.
Thus, oxygen is delivered to the muscles, the brain, the heart… Blood without oxygen returns to the lungs and carbon dioxide (CO2) is expelled from the body through exhalation.
Hypoxia: definition. Hypoxia occurs when the amount of oxygen supplied to the organs and muscles by the blood is insufficient.
Hypoxia: is it serious? Obviously there are several stages of hypoxia.
Hypoxia can have very serious consequences when it is the heart or the brain that is deprived of oxygen (for example, in the case of a myocardial infarction or a stroke): if left untreated, it can cause cardiorespiratory arrest, and therefore a coma and death,” explains Dr. Olivier-Jacques Bocrie-Jeantet, a general practitioner. However, there is slight hypoxia: muscle cramps, for example. “
In particular, hypoxia can be linked to :
And also… At high altitude, oxygen depletion in the air can be responsible for supply hypoxia.
This is known as “mountain sickness”: this condition manifests itself through headaches, dizziness, loss of appetite, nausea and/or vomiting, unusual fatigue and/or weakness, irritability, and even (in the most severe cases) mental confusion and loss of balance leading to coma.
Before any performance at altitude (in mountaineering, for example), athletes must pass a “hypoxia resistance test” designed to evaluate their ability to adapt to altitude.
Hypoxia: what treatment? The diagnosis of hypoxia involves first a clinical examination and then a blood test to measure the levels of oxygen and CO2 in the blood. The test is called “blood gas” and is taken from the radial artery in the wrist.
The treatment of hypoxia is obviously based on treating the cause (myocardial infarction, stroke, anemia, etc.) and then administering high doses of oxygen, for example, through an oxygen mask or a nasal tube.
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