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Hypoxia (also known as hypoxiation) is a condition in which the body or a region of the body is deprived of adequate oxygen supply.

Description and EffectsEdit

Hypoxia may be classified as either generalized, affecting the whole body, or local, affecting a region of the body. Although hypoxia is often a pathological condition, variations in arterial oxygen concentrations can be part of the normal physiology, for example, during strenuous physical exercise.

Hypoxia differs from hypoxemia in that hypoxia refers to a state in which oxygen supply is insufficient, whereas hypoxemia refers specifically to states that have low arterial oxygen supply. Hypoxia in which there is complete deprivation of oxygen supply is referred to as "Anoxia".

Generalized hypoxia occurs in healthy people when they ascend to high altitude, where it causes altitude sickness leading to potentially fatal complications: high altitude pulmonary edema and high altitude cerebral edema. Hypoxia also occurs in healthy individuals when breathing mixtures of gases with a low oxygen content, e.g. while diving underwater especially when using closed-circuit rebreather systems that control the amount of oxygen in the supplied air. A mild and non-damaging intermittent hypoxia is used intentionally during altitude trainings to develop an athletic performance adaptation at both the systemic and cellular level.

Hypoxia is also a serious consequence of preterm birth in the neonate. The main cause for this is that the lungs of the human fetus are among the last organs to develop during pregnancy. To assist the lungs to distribute oxygenated blood throughout the body, infants at risk of hypoxia are often placed inside an incubator capable of providing continuous positive airway pressure (also known as a humidicrib).

Victims in GravityEdit

See AlsoEdit

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