Hypoxia simply means “little oxygen,” but is described as a shortcoming in the amount of oxygen that enters the body’s tissues. This varies from hypoxemia, indicating an insufficient amount of oxygen that flows through the blood.
A range of factors can cause hypoxemia, including asthma, pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This is a severe medical condition that needs prompt medical treatment.
Four types of Hypoxia
Congenital Heart Disease:
Many of us ask what are Hypoxia and Hypoxemia…
Hypoxia and hypoxemia correspond to two different issues. Thus hypoxemia refers to low levels of oxygen in your blood, hypoxia is the low levels of oxygen in your body’s tissues.
The carbon dioxide is substituted in the lungs for oxygen, and the cycle happens again. Hypoxemia will occur if a respiratory condition makes it difficult to breathe, or if a condition itself induces a drop in blood oxygen. Hypoxemia is a condition in which the body does not have enough oxygen in the blood, and it can result in hypoxia. Under hypoxia, large organs lack adequate oxygen to operate, and this may result under damage to or death of these organs.
What causes hypoxia and hypoxemia?
The causes of atmospheric and tissue hypoxia frequently contribute to the intermediate state of hypoxemia; hence the causes of any form of hypoxia are often possible causes of hypoxemia.
- Chemical or gaspoisoning (with or without mask)
- Using too much heater at winter in closed room
- Absent concentration of oxygen
- High altitudes reached without supplemental oxygen
- Heavy weed or e-cigarette smokers
- People who work underground levels, suffer more
Effect of Hypoxia on the body
Hypoxia may affect the entire body, or a specific body organ or body region. They may also be categorized as acute or chronic, with a rapid onset of acute nature, and a chronic sense that hypoxia has been going on for some time.
Brain, heart and liver are the organs most affected by hypoxia. If the hypoxia is extreme, it can start long term damage within four minutes of the onset. In serious cases coma, seizures, and death can occur. Chronic, milder hypoxia, too, can damage the body’s main organs.
Signs and symptoms of hypoxia
Although symptoms and effects can vary from person to person, the most common hypoxia symptoms are:
- Fast heart rate
- Rapid breathing
- Shortness of breath
- Slow heart rate
Signs and symptoms of hypoxia on children
Oxygen deprivation can lead to the individual’s death, unless it is rapidly corrected. Oxygen depletion is a gradual issue and the early symptoms of childhood hypoxia should be taken care of as early as possible before the situation may get worse.
Children experience several potential causes of hypoxia. Children’s symptoms of hypoxia include breathlessness, uneasiness when attempting to breathe, giddiness, disorientation, vomiting, muscle exhaustion and progressively declining consciousness. Some symptoms of childhood hypoxia include sudden euphoria spikes and symptoms that the child suffers from blurry or impaired vision. Many symptoms of childhood hypoxia will occur together and will slowly begin to worsen as long as the child’s supply of oxygen is not restored. It is important to remember that when all children suffer from this disorder they respond differently.
Some of these are due to physical blockages and some are related to issues with air quality and other processes inside the child’s body. Blockages may also be caused by infections, foreign bodies, tumors or by damage sustained in an accident or physical abuse by the airways.
The most frequent cause of hypoxia is airway obstruction. This obstruction can be caused by the patient having asthma. Asthma involves the airways becoming constricted due to some allergic reaction in the air to a substance or vapor.
Treatment of Hypoxia
The most obvious treatment of hypoxia in children is to give the child an oxygen mask to breathe. More serious intervention will be needed if there is an airway obstruction. This could even involve the insertion of a tube to facilitate the flow of air to the lungs. In case of air quality issues as well, the use of an oxygen mask will solve the problem temporarily. After one has sorted out the initial emergency symptoms, the treatment of hypoxia then moves to understanding the underlying cause that has triggered the attack and sorting it out using medical intervention.
How do doctors diagnose hypoxemia?
The doctor will do a physical exam and listen to the heart and lungs for diagnosis of hypoxemia. Anomalies in certain organs may be a sign of low oxygen in the blood. Your doctor can even test for bluish looks on your eyes, lips, or fingernails.
Doctors use measures to verify the levels of the oxygen including:
- Pulse oximetry: A sensor sliding over your finger tests the amount of blood oxygen. The pulse oximetry is non-invasive and painless. It’s regularly used by many physicians each time you visit.
- Arterial blood gas test: Use a needle to take blood samples from the artery to check the blood oxygen levels.
- Other breathing tests: This may include breathing into tubes attached to computers or other devices.
Is Hypoxia Life-Threatening?
Hypoxia is life-threatening, and can have lasting impacts. When you believe that you are suffering from hypoxia, it is critical that you get to a hospital for urgent care. The doctor will need to immediately place you on supplementary oxygen and monitor your health, as well as run tests to determine whether there has been any damage or not.
How to treat Hypoxia patient?
Normal blood oxygen levels are about 75 – 100 mm mercury (the normal blood oxygen measurement). can occur if the blood oxygen levels drop below 60 mm and supplemental oxygen may be prescribed. Looking at this from a pulse oximeter readout perspective, typical readings are in the range of 95 to 100. Values under 90 are considered poor.
In general, hypoxia is treated with supplemental oxygen. Since the natural air is a mixture of oxygen and other gasses, the oxygen concentration in the air is just about 21%. Although that might be good enough for those without respiratory issues, if you have respiratory conditions as well, less oxygen gets to your lungs.
The goal of supplemental oxygen is to increase the amount of oxygen in each breath in order to bring up the amount of oxygen in the blood. In doing so, you must provide the tissues with adequate oxygen, and as a result, the effects of hypoxia must generally diminish.