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Hypoxemia occurs when there is a low level of oxygen in your blood. Oxygen is needed to keep your organs and tissues alive. Organs, such as your heart, stop working without oxygen. Long-term hypoxemia can become life threatening if it is not treated.


Oxygen therapy:

Oxygen may be needed for activity, such as exercise. You may need oxygen only when you sleep. Your healthcare provider may have you use the oxygen all the time, if you have severe hypoxemia. Ask your healthcare provider for more information about using oxygen at home.

Pulmonary rehabilitation:

Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) is ordered if the cause of your hypoxemia is related to certain conditions, such as COPD. PR consists of exercise training and nutrition and disease education. You will learn ways to conserve (save) your energy and develop a breathing action plan. PR also offers counseling and support groups.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You have fainting spells with activity.
  • You have chest pain.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • Your symptoms do not change or become worse with treatment.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Hypoxemia (Discharge Care)

Associated drugs

IBM Watson Micromedex

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.