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Lack of oxygen at the tissue level of the body due to a decreased partial pressure of
oxygen in the inspired air
Normally 1000mls/minute (550 mls/min/m2) of oxygen is transported from the
lungs to the periphery by the circulation
Only 25% of this is utilized in a resting person.

Hypoxic Injury To Cells

Impaired aerobic respiration (mitochondria)
Decreased ATP (energy)
Anaerobic glycolysis
Glycogen depletion
Accumulation of lactic acid (intracellular
acidosis) with associated nuclear chromatin

Vacuolization of mitochondria
Swelling of lysosomes
Damage to plasma membranes
Loss of phospholipids (decrease. synthesis and
increase. degradation).
Cytoskeletal alterations (damage to
cytoskeletal-membrane connections, effects of
cell swelling, activation of proteases)
Effects of free radicals (toxic oxygen radicals
produced by PMN's)
Lipid breakdown products (free fatty acids and
other with a detergent effect on cell membrane)
Influx of Ca++ into the cell and mitochondria with inhibition of cellular
Denaturation of proteins and coagulation of cells (coagulative necrosis)
Cell components are degraded by inflammatory processes, with associated
further enzyme leakages and release of inflammatory mediators
Final breakdown product of dead cells include free fatty acids which
attract Ca++ with formation of soaps
Causes/Types of Hypoxia
Anemic Hypoxia

Circulatory hypoxia

Respiratory hypoxia

Cerebral hypoxia
Specimen of handwriting at specific altitudes
and different percentages of O2

Other causes of hypoxia

Hypoxia Secondary to Right-to-Left Extrapulmonary Shunting
Specific Organ Hypoxia
Increased O2 Requirements
Improper Oxygen Utilization

Effects of Hypoxia
Changes in the central nervous system,
Impaired judgment, motor incoordination
Fatigue, drowsiness, apathy, inattentiveness, delayed reaction time, and
reduced work capacity
Death usually results from respiratory failure (Brainstem hypoxia)
Bluish color of the skin and mucous membranes resulting from an
increased quantity of reduced hemoglobin
Lips, nail beds, ears, and malar eminences
3.4~5.0 g/dl of reduced hemoglobin in the systemic circulation
You cant see cyanosis until the O2 saturation is in the mid-80% or less

Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy
Impaired judgment, inattentiveness, motor incoordination, and, at times,
Circulatory arrest --> consciousness is lost within seconds
Circulation is restored within 3 to 5 min --> full recovery may occur (eg.
Neonatal asphyxia)
Hypoxia-ischemia lasts beyond 3 to 5 min --> some degree of permanent
cerebral damage
Mild hypothermia

Increased erythropoietin production
Phlebotomy for recurrent hyperviscosity symptoms
Iron-depleted erythrocytosis
progressive symptoms after recurrent phlebotomy are usually due to iron
depletion with hypochromic microcytosis
Phlebotomy, when required for symptoms of hyperviscosity not due to
dehydration or iron deficiency, is a simple outpatient removal of 500 ml of blood
over 45 min with isovolumetric replacement with isotonic saline (5% dextrose if
congestive heart failure exists)

Abnormal Hemostasis
Increased blood volume and engorged capillaries
Abnormalities in platelet function
Abnormalities of the extrinsic and intrinsic coagulation system