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What causes hypoxia?

ANSWER

Hypoxia can result from:

  • A severe asthma attack, or flare.
  • Lung damage due to trauma.
  • Lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, bronchitis, pneumonia, and pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs)
  • Strong pain medicines and other drugs that hold back breathing
  • Heart problems
  • Anemia (a low number of red blood cells, which carry oxygen)
  • Cyanide poisoning (Cyanide is a chemical used to make plastics and other products.)

From: Hypoxia and Hypoxemia WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Leach, R. November 1998. BMJ,

Lian, J. March 2009. Nursing 2014 Critical Care.

Medscape: "Hypoventilation syndromes."

Papiris, S. 2002. Critical Care,

Pittman, R. Oxygen Transport in Normal and Pathological States: Defects and Compensations.

Samuel, J. "Hypoxemia and Hypoxia."

UpToDate: "Oxygenation and mechanisms of hypoxemia."

CDC.

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on July 30, 2018

SOURCES:

Leach, R. November 1998. BMJ,

Lian, J. March 2009. Nursing 2014 Critical Care.

Medscape: "Hypoventilation syndromes."

Papiris, S. 2002. Critical Care,

Pittman, R. Oxygen Transport in Normal and Pathological States: Defects and Compensations.

Samuel, J. "Hypoxemia and Hypoxia."

UpToDate: "Oxygenation and mechanisms of hypoxemia."

CDC.

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on July 30, 2018

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How can you prevent hypoxia when you have asthma?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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