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modified from
Hackett 1995

SaO2 varies over a range in normal individuals at a given altitude. It is usually lower on first arrival at a given altitude, and rises somewhat with acclimatization. Once above about 6500 m, SaO2 flattens out at about 60-65%, and then drops very little because of the large increase in ventilation and the subsequent respiratory alkalosis (which shifts the oxyhemoglobin dissociation curve to the left).

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Copyright© Thomas E. Dietz, MD
Emergency & Wilderness Medicine

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Last modified 8-May-2000