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What is ‘silent hypoxia’ that can prove deadly for Coronavirus patients


New Delhi, May 08: Many patients are now arriving at the hospital with oxygen percentage levels in the 80s or 70s and some have even had levels below 50 per cent. The condition is known as 'Silent Hypoxia'.

What is ‘silent hypoxia’ that can prove deadly for Coronavirus patients

It is a condition in which the body's oxygen concentration levels drop below 60 per cent in patients infected with the coronavirus.

Hypoxia is a condition in which the body or a region of the body is deprived of adequate oxygen supply at the tissue level.

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 hypoventilation training or strenuous physical exercise.

Hypoxia differs from hypoxemia and anoxemia in that hypoxia refers to a state in which oxygen supply is insufficient, whereas hypoxemia and anoxemia refer specifically to states that have low or zero arterial oxygen supply.

Hypoxia in which there is complete deprivation of oxygen supply is referred to as anoxia.

Signs of silent hypoxia and how can it affect those with the coronavirus?

  • Changes in the color of your skin, ranging from blue to cherry red
  • Confusion
  • Cough
  • Fast heart rate
  • Pain when breathing
  • Low oxygen levels
  • Tight chest
  • Rapid breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Slow heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Wheezing

Other complications

Untreated chronic COPD hypoxia may also lead to:

  • depression and other mood disorders
  • fatigue
  • headache
  • confusion
  • high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • pulmonary hypertension
  • increased heart rate
  • heart failure
  • acute respiratory failure
  • secondary polycythemia, which is an abnormal increase in the number of red blood cells (RBCs)

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