Hypoxemia Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

2Hypoxemia Causes

As we mentioned in the first paragraph, hypoxemia happens when there is a low oxygen level in the blood. Thus, any causes that influence oxygen transportation to the lungs or from the lungs to the blood can lead to hypoxemia. Fundamentally, the common underlying mechanisms of hypoxemia could be classified into five categories: ventilation-perfusion mismatch, diffusion impairment, right-to-left shunting, hypoventilation, and low PO2. This article illustrates the two most common hypoxemia causes in detail: diffusion impairment and ventilation-perfusion mismatch. [2]

Diffusion impairment

Lung diffusion refers to the oxygen transferability from air sacs of the lungs to the blood and carbon dioxide transferability from the blood to the lungs. Diffusion impairment happens when people have a low transfer capacity of oxygen & CO2. The condition could result from many reasons such as a decreased surface area for diffusion, inflammation, pulmonary fibrosis, etc. [3]

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