Mechanisms of Hypoxemia – Part 1

If you treat patient with hypoxic respiratory failure you really need to understand what is going on in their lungs. These two tutorials look at diseases of the lung parenchyma and how blood flow and gas flow interact. The first tutorial focuses on alveolar oxygen content and how it is impacted by disease. I explain the concept of airway closure (which will will revisit in detail several times during this series), stale alveolar gas, the various causes of atelectasis and the six S approach to figuring out what is going on in the airways (Slimy, Soggy, Sticky, Stiff, Squished, Shunty).

Identifying and Quantifying Hypoxemia

The next part of the course is all about hypoxic respiratory failure. To treat hypoxemia you must understand it. The purpose of this sequence of tutorials is to lead up to discussions on CPAP and PEEP and provide a platform for understanding Pressure Controlled Modes of Ventilation. The first tutorial looks at oxyhemoglobin saturation, why the oxyhemoglobin dissociation curve is essential knowledge for the practicing clinician, how pulse oximeters work and how to quantify hypoxemia (A-aO2 gradient and PaO2/FiO2 ratio).