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Hypoxia Essay Topics & Paper Examples

Effects of High Altitude

Hypoxia is the main physiological complication when ascending to high altitudes. The percentage of oxygen in the atmosphere stays the same, but the partial pressure and barometric pressure begin to drop on rising to a higher altitude. The level of altitude, rate of ascent, and duration of exposure all determine the body’s response to hypoxia. The physiological responses to high altitude hypoxia are divided into two categories. First there are acute responses known as accommodation, which refers to the immediate reflex adjustments of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems to hypoxia. Second there are long term responses called acclimatization, which refers to the changes in body tissues in response to long term exposure to hypoxia. While long term responses occur within…