Hypoxia (Also known as hypoxiation) was a condition in which the body or a region of the body was deprived of adequate oxygen supply.
Description and Effects
Hypoxia may be classified as either generalized, affecting the whole body or local, affecting a region of the body. Although hypoxia was often a pathological condition, variations in arterial oxygen concentrations could be part of the normal physiology, for example, during strenuous physical exercise.
Hypoxia differed from hypoxemia in that hypoxia referred to a state in which oxygen supply was insufficient where hypoxemia referred specifically to states that had low arterial oxygen supply. Hypoxia in which there was complete deprivation of oxygen supply was referred to as "Anoxia".
Generalized hypoxia occurred in healthy people when they ascended to high altitude where it caused altitude sickness leading to potentially fatal complications: High altitude pulmonary edema and high altitude cerebral edema. Hypoxia also occurred 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 controlled the amount of oxygen in the supplied air. A mild and non-damaging intermittent hypoxia was used intentionally during altitude trainings to develop an athletic performance adaptation at both the systemic and cellular level.
Hypoxia was also a serious consequence of preterm birth in the neonate. The main cause for this was 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 Gravity
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