A Conversation for Hypoxia, Carbon Monoxide Poisoning and Drowning
Gadgeteer Started conversation Apr 3, 2004
Since this article started off by describing about the way the brain measures the levels of Carbon Dioxide in an effort to promote the urge to breathe, I thought it valid to mention an alternative condition, known as 'Hypoxic Drive', where this is not the case.
Hypoxic Drive occurs in people who have certain kinds of chronic (long-term) lung diseases. In these diseases, the efficiency of the lungs is reduced and they cannot expel as much Carbon Dioxide as can a healthy individual.
The brain realises this and measures the level of Oxygen. When the level of Oxygen is too low, the urge to breathe is induced. In an atmosphere where there is high Oxygen concentrations, there is no sub-conscious urge to breathe at all! That's Hypoxic Drive.
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