Human may be alive only 3 minutes without oxygen
The total length of all human vessels is about 86 000 kilometers, the total lungs area is about 100 square meters. Man does about 20000 breaths and inhales 10000 liters of air per 24 hours. Heart beats approximately 100,000 times and pumps over 7 tons of blood. What is this titanic work for? Everything is entirely to maintain arterial oxygen saturation.
Although we can spend without food for a month we may live without water not more than 7 days. To be prepared to the absence of food and water our body stores fat and fluid. But our body does not have the mechanisms of oxygen accumulation and storage. A total of three minutes without a breath or heartbeat completely consumes the oxygen reserve and the person dies.
Hypoxia and cardiovascular complications
Arterial oxygen saturation is an important vital sign. Any lung and the heart dysfunctions gradually lead to hypoxia that damages each organ. Person suffers from headaches, fatigue, lack of concentration, memory problems, discontinuous, non-restorative sleep, daytime sleepiness.
Hypoxia has the greatest negative impact on the cardiovascular system. For example, a patient with coronary heart disease and atherosclerotic plaques in the coronary arteries has low blood supply to his heart. Low oxygen saturation duplicates heart damage. This significantly increases the risk of myocardial infarction, cardiac arrhythmias and sudden death. Long term hypoxia contributes to the development of heart failure.
Usually the first signs of hypoxia occur during exercise or sleep. Obviously that muscle work increases oxygen consumption. Hypoxia develops if the lungs or heart are not able adequately supply increasing body need for oxygen. Why is hypoxia provoked by sleep? The intercostal muscles turn off at night and only a diaphragm drives respiration. If the person is overweight his enlarged abdomen in the horizontal position pushes the diaphragm up and significantly limits the lungs mobility. Lungs can not expand and maintain required ventilation.
Moreover, bronchial airway resistance rises during sleep and contributes in respiratory dysfunction. Bronchial obstruction worsens at night in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
Oxygen saturation deteriorates at night in patients with heart failure. Irregular breathing with cyclic central apnea, Cheyne-Stokes respiration, is a typical manifestation of these disorders.
Cardio and pulmonary rehab and oxygen therapy
Rehab with controlled physical activity allows to improve cardio-pulmonary reserve, increases efficiency and improve the quality of human life. Usually, trained level of physical activity is determined by the result of stress tests (treadmill test). There are strict criteria to stop a test in patients at rehab. The goal of stress testing is determination of physical load that trains but does not harm.
Oxygen saturation level is very important during this test. If it drops below 90% or 4% lower the initial level the test must e stopped due to hypoxemia. Although the patients might complaint about fatigue we may miss hypoxemia if saturation is not controlled. We may differentiate either fatigue in untrained person requires a good training program or fatigue as a symptom of hypoxemia must be carefully evaluated and managed due to the high risk of complications. Hypoxemia may provoke ischemia, arrhythmia and hypertension. Pulmonary arteriolar spasm leading to pulmonary hypertension increases right heart load and may cause right heart failure with the abdomen, liver, lower extremities congestion.
In patients with hypoxemia during exercising all trainings should include low-flow oxygen therapy(2-5 l / min) controlled with the portable pulse oximetry.
Also a long-term low-flow oxygen therapy is indicated when the patient drops the oxygen saturation while he is sleeping. Hypoxemia at the daytime may require the oxygen therapy for 15 hours or more hours per day.
The possibilities of “BARVIKHA” in the management of hypoxic conditions
“Barvikha” implemented effective program of diagnosis and treatment of hypoxia of different origin:
- The stress tests are controlled with pulse oxymetry.
- “BARVIKHA” offers a full complex of assessment of respiratory system function such a pulmonary function test, body plethysmography, lung diffusion testing.
- Cardiologist and pulmonologist follow up the patients with combined diseases of the heart and lungs.
- Low-flow oxygen therapy is used for the patients with hypoxic reaction during physical exercises.
- Portable nocturnal pulse oxymetry is obligatory for all our patients to screen for sleep apnea.
- Then polisomnography is recommended for the patients with suspected sleep apnea.
- If sleep apnea is diagnosed we chose respiratory support such a low-flow oxygen therapy, CPAP- and BIPAP therapy, adaptive servo-ventilation.
If you have a condition leading to hypoxia, call us at +7 495 228 9030/ +79256545069 (english speaking personnel) we can help you effectively!