Hyperoxia


Hyperoxia is where the body has too much oxygen in its system. It is the opposite of Hypoxia and can manifest into oxygen toxicity and hypercapnia. Hypercapnia is where there is a build-up of carbon dioxide in the body, and happens because of hyperoxia. This is where the body uses too much oxygen to form carbon dioxide, causing a build-up of carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide in too high quantities will affect the acidity of the blood and can lead to respiratory acidosis. Nevertheless, if not dealt with quickly, this can be fatal.

Scuba divers and people partaking in oxygen therapy are at risk of developing hyperoxia. This is due to exposure to high partial pressures of oxygen, and oxygen becomes toxic dependant on the pressure and concentration of the oxygen being breathed in. There are three main effects oxygen toxicity has on the body. It affects the Central Nervous System, the eyes and the lungs. These can be fatal or life-changing if not dealt with quickly. Signs and symptoms of hyperoxia include disorientation, euphoria, respiratory problems and seizures, and medical help should be sought out should someone present with these symptoms, especially if they are partaking in something like SCUBA diving, freediving or oxygen therapy.

For more information on training courses, visit our “Courses” page which also includes our First Responder and First Person on Scene (FPOS) Courses.

Leave a Reply