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Hipóxia: what é, symptoms, causes and treatment

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Hipóxia: what é, symptoms, causes and treatment
Hipóxia: what é, symptoms, causes and treatment
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Hypoxia is when the amount of oxygen transported to the body's cells is insufficient, causing symptoms such as headache, drowsiness, cold sweats, purplish fingers and mouth, and even fainting.

Usually hypoxia is caused by heart problems or lung disease, but it can also arise from simpler conditions such as anemia or climbing to high altitudes.

The treatment of hypoxia depends on its cause, severity and the he alth condition of each person, however, in most cases, it consists of the administration of oxygen through masks or orotracheal intubation. This situation can cause sequelae in the body, so when the first symptoms appear, it is recommended to go to the hospital immediately or call for medical help.

Oximeter: device that measures oxygen saturation

Oximeter: device that measures oxygen saturation

Main symptoms

The most common symptoms of hypoxia include:

  • Headache;
  • Drowsiness;
  • Increased heart rate;
  • Cold sweat;
  • Shortness of breath;
  • Dizziness;
  • Confusion;
  • Fainting;
  • Purple fingers and mouth (cyanosis).

Cyanosis arises because the blood vessels in the extremities of the body constrict to send more blood and more oxygen to the main organs of the body, and because of this there is also an increase in blood pressure. Learn more about what cyanosis is and how it is classified.

As hypoxia worsens, blood pressure decreases and the person may lose consciousness, so when the first symptoms appear, it is necessary to call the SAMU ambulance immediately, on 192, for medical care emergency, avoiding possible complications.

How to confirm hypoxia

The best way to confirm if there is a decrease in oxygen levels in the body is to use an oximeter, which can be purchased in pharmacies, but also in some markets. The oximeter is a small device that is placed on the tip of the finger and that measures the amount of oxygen in the body (saturation), indicating the value as a percentage. See how to use the oximeter correctly.

If you already have your saturation value, enter it in our calculator to see if it is at an ideal value:

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