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Hypoxia is a deficiency of oxygen in inspired (inhaled) gases or in arterial blood and/or in the tissues.
This is closely related to anoxia, which is a complete lack of oxygen in the tissues. One can think of anoxia as the most severe case of hypoxia.
Various forms of hypoxia are recognized. These include:
The most common symptom of hypoxia is cyanosis, a bluish cast to the skin, lips and/or fingernails. Cyanosis is harder to observe in dark-skinned people. The best places to look in this case are in the buccal mucosa (inside of the cheek) and hard palate (roof of the mouth).
If your body isn't getting oxygen, you die. Make sure you recognize cyanosis when you see it. If working in an enclosed space or with an asphyxiant, move to a well-ventilated area if you become light-headed, weak or disoriented.
Be sure you understand the dangers of carbon monoxide in the home and workplace. This nasty, invisible, odorless, colorless, gaseous poison can cause hypoxia and death!
Safety Emporium has gas cylinder signs, racks, carts, clamps, lockouts and more to ensure your workers' safety.
See also: air, anesthesia, anoxia, asphyxiant, cyanosis.
Additional definitions from Google and OneLook.
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