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It is important for you to know the normal level of oxygen in the blood that must be maintained. This is because without sufficient oxygen levels, the ability of organs and body tissues to carry out their functions will be disrupted
In some diseases, the value of oxygen levels in the blood or oxygen saturation can be used to monitor the condition of the body. This value is also used to determine whether a treatment was successful or needs to be re-evaluated.
Normal Oxygen Level in Blood
The normal amount of oxygen can be found in different forms, depending on how it is measured. There are 2 ways to measure oxygen saturation in the blood, namely with a blood gas analysis (AGD) or with a pulse oximeter. Here is the explanation:
Blood gas analysis (AGD)
Blood gas analysis is a blood test taken through an artery. In addition to measuring oxygen saturation (SaO2) or the level of oxygen in the blood, this test also measures partial pressure of oxygen (PaO2), partial pressure of carbon dioxide (PaCO2), bicarbonate (HCO3) and arterial blood pH.
This blood gas analysis test is very accurate. Measurements are also carried out in a hospital and must be carried out by professional medical personnel. The results of normal and abnormal oxygen levels on the blood gas analysis test are as follows:
High oxygen level
Partial pressure of oxygen (PaO2): above 120 mmHg
Normal oxygen level
Oxygen saturation (SaO2): 95–100%Partial pressure of oxygen (PaO2): 80–100 mmHg
Low oxygen level
Oxygen saturation (SaO2): below 95%Oxygen partial pressure (PaO2): below 80 mmHg
Pulse oximeter is an oxygen saturation checking tool that is quite practical and can be used alone at home. This tool estimates the amount of oxygen in the blood by sending infrared rays to the capillaries. The level of oxygen in the blood is measured by the amount of light reflected from the capillaries.
Compared to AGD, this tool has a measurement error tolerance of 2%. This means that the test result for the oxygen level in the blood can be 2% higher or lower than the actual level.
Even so, a pulse oximeter is still very useful to see blood oxygen levels. This tool is also often used in hospitals to quickly assess a patient's heart and respiratory function.
The pulse oximeter measurement results show the percentage of oxygen saturation (SpO2). The results of normal and abnormal blood oxygen levels on a pulse oximeter are as follows:
- Oxygen saturation normal: 95–100%
- Low oxygen saturation: below 95%
Interpretation of Oxygen Levels in the Blood
People who are he althy and have no complaints will generally have normal blood oxygen levels. In other cases, a person may appear he althy and have no symptoms, but have low blood oxygen levels. This condition is called happy hypoxia and can be found in people with COVID-19.
Low oxygen levels or hypoxemia generally cause various symptoms, such as shortness of breath, chest pain, cold sweats, coughing, confusion, and blue skin. Apart from COVID-19, hypoxemia can be caused by:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including chronic bronchitis and emphysema
- Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)
- Congenital heart defects
- Heart disease
- pulmonary embolism
Most of the diseases or medical conditions above can prevent the lungs from getting oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide optimally. Others are blood disorders and problems with the circulatory system which can also reduce the distribution of oxygen throughout the body.
The condition of blood oxygen levels that are too high is actually rare, but it can happen. Usually, this is experienced by people who receive oxygenation therapy using supplemental oxygen cylinders. This condition can only be detected by the AGD test.
To find out the level of oxygen in the blood, you can do a blood gas analysis test at the hospital. However, this test cannot be done arbitrarily, but must go through a doctor's recommendation.If you want to be more practical, you can buy a pulse oximeter to check blood oxygen levels at home.
If you experience symptoms of hypoxaemia, such as shortness of breath, cold sweats, and weakness, or find low blood oxygen levels on the pulse oximeter, immediately go to the emergency room or the nearest doctor for further examination and appropriate treatment.