Arterial Hypoxia: Respiratory Versus Cardiovascular Dysfunction
To recognize the cause of hypoxia one must evaluate separately the pulmonary and haemo-dynamic changes to estimate their share in development of hypoxia. To judge the oxygenation in severely ill patients arterial PO2 alone is no reliable parameter as it is considerably influenced by the haemodynamic situation. Under physiologic conditions a detailed analysis of the cardiopulmonary system is not necessary since the PaO2 with its broad spectrum of information is adequate in the normal patient. However for patients with severe trauma and increased metabolism and sepsis or for those with a combination of cardiac or respiratory insufficiency it is of considerable importance to differentiate between cardiac and pulmonary impairment.
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