Hypoxia: Procedures Don Oxygen

1253 WordsMay 15, 20126 Pages
HYPOXIA Introduction Hypoxia is simply a lack of oxygen at the tissue level of the body due to a decreased partial pressure of oxygen in the inspired air. Hypoxia is serious, because it may lead to death. Diseases of the blood, the heart and circulation, and the lungs may all produce some form of hypoxia. There are four types of hypoxia: (1) the hypoxic type, in which the oxygen pressure in the blood going to the tissues is too low to saturate the haemoglobin; (2) the anaemic type, in which the amount of functional haemoglobin is too small, and hence the capacity of the blood to carry oxygen is too low; (3) the stagnant type, in which the blood is or may be normal but the flow of blood to the tissues is reduced; and (4) the…show more content…
[f] Heart disease – some types of heart disease, particularly congenital, result in poor oxygenation of the blood. This will be aggravated by increased altitude. [g] Anaemia – in this condition there is a decrease in the amount of haemoglobin available to carry oxygen to the tissues. Any decrease in oxygen availability soon leads to hypoxia.2 Symptoms and signs of hypoxia The first signs include both mental and physical effects. Mentally there can be a loss of judgement, self-criticism and short-term memory. This can be accompanied by an increase in reaction time and a kind of mental "tunnel vision”. Euphoric may be also experienced by the flight crew. The physical effects include muscular incoordination and an impairment of colour, night and peripheral vision. Hearing also deteriorates. Flight crew may experience hot flushes and turn bluish at the extremities (cyanosis). Rapid breathing or hyperventilation is one of the early physical signs. But because hypoxia impairs judgement, flight crew may not notice loss of vision and hearing or other physical or mental signs. Simple tasks become extraordinarily difficult and performance fails. As hypoxia continues, he or she would become semiconscious. After he or she lose consciousness entirely, he or she has only minutes to live, depending on the altitude. There are many factors which affect the tolerance to hypoxia. The faster the rate of ascent, the quicker the onset.

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