Hypoxia: All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) turns its focus on...

Hypoxia: All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) turns its focus on silent hypoxia now


New Delhi: With the spotlight now on containing deaths due to Covid-19, the country’s premier hospital – the All India Institute of Medical Sciences – has zeroed in on silent hypoxia as one of the prime killers.

Hypoxia or happy hypoxia is a condition in which the body or a particular part of the body does not receive adequate oxygen at the tissue level.

“Patients are oblivious to their condition until it is too late, resulting in a sudden death. It is a condition which has been seen in a lot of Covid-19 patients,” said a doctor at AIIMS on condition of anonymity.

According to the doctors, the reasons for such deaths include cardiac events or complications such as pulmonary thromboembolism, which is the sudden blockage of a lung artery due to a blood clot.

The doctors have advised that patients prone to develop severe Covid-19 or those with prior conditions such as coronary artery disease or chronic lung disease should be strictly monitored for oxygen saturation.

“They should not be allowed to move unattended. Anticoagulants (to prevent blood clotting) should be used in all at-risk patients who do not have any risk factors of bleeding,” according to an AIIMS advisory on better clinical management of Covid-19.

India’s case fatality rate – the proportion of deaths among those who tested positive for the infection – stands at 1.78%. While the rate is lower than the global average of 3.34%, government officials said their focus is to reduce mortality.

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