Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine

Register      Login



Volume / Issue

Online First

Related articles

VOLUME 23 , ISSUE S3 ( September, 2019 ) > List of Articles


Physiology of Oxygen Transport and its Determinants in Intensive Care Unit

Pratik Tantia

Keywords : Arterial blood gas analysis, Hemoglobin, Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, Hypoxia, Oxygen saturation, Pulse oximetry

Citation Information : Tantia P. Physiology of Oxygen Transport and its Determinants in Intensive Care Unit. Indian J Crit Care Med 2019; 23 (S3).

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10071-23246

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 01-12-2019

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2019; The Author(s).


Transport of oxygen is one of the most important functions of blood. How oxygen moves from the air, where its partial pressure is about 150 mm Hg to mitochondria, where it drops down to a single digit is an evolutionary marvel. In this article, we discuss the physiology of oxygen transport from the alveoli to the tissue, the alveolar gas equation and the oxyhemoglobin dissociation curve. In the applied physiology section, we discuss the impact of high altitude, hyperbaric conditions, carbon monoxide poisoning on the transport of oxygen. Some common pitfalls in the interpretation of pulse oximetry and arterial blood gas are also discussed. Finally, we talk about the methods of increasing oxygen delivery, the compensation for hypoxia and some indications of venous oxygen saturation measurement.

PDF Share
  1. Akhtar J, Johnston BD, Krenzelok EP. Mind the gap. J Emerg Med. 2007 Aug;33(2):131–132.
  2. Biswas CK, Ramos JM, Agroyannis B, Kerr DN. Blood gas analysis: effect of air bubbles in syringe and delay in estimation. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed). 1982 Mar 27;284(6320):923–927.
  3. Chu DK, Kim LH, Young PJ, Zamiri N, Almenawer SA, Jaeschke R, et al. Mortality and morbidity in acutely ill adults treated with liberal versus conservative oxygen therapy (IOTA): a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet. 2018 Apr 28;391(10131):1693–1705.
  4. Shah A, Roy NB, McKechnie S, Doree C, Fisher SA, Stanworth SJ. Iron supplementation to treat anaemia in adult critical care patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Crit Care. 2016 Sep 29;20(1):306.
  5. French C. Erythropoietin in Critical Illness and Trauma. Crit Care Clin. 2019 Apr;35(2):277–287.
  6. Barratt-Boyes BG, Wood EH. The oxygen saturation of blood in the venae cavae, right-heart chambers, and pulmonary vessels of healthy subjects. J Lab Clin Med. 1957 Jul;50(1):93–106.
PDF Share
PDF Share

© Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) LTD.