What is Hypoxemia?

Hypoxemia (or Hypoxaemia) is generally defined as decreased partial pressure of oxygen in blood, sometimes specifically as less than which, without further specification, would include both concentration of dissolved oxygen and oxygen bound to hemoglobin.

Inclusion of the latter would include anemia as a possible cause of hypoxemia (which, however, is not the case generally).

Hypoxemia is different from hypoxia, which is an abnormally low oxygen availability to the body or an individual tissue or organ.

Still, hypoxia can be caused by hypoxemia, and such hypoxia is referred to as ''hypoxemic hypoxia'', which is distinguished from e.g. anemic hypoxia.

Because of the frequent incorrect use of hypoxemia, this is sometimes erroneously stated as ''hypoxic hypoxia''.

Further Reading

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Last Updated: Sep 16, 2014

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