High Hematocrit Levels In The Blood?

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why does high hematocrit levels cause oxygen levels in the blood to decrease?

1 Answer:

Hello Natac, thank you for the question to HealthReplies.com

Blood is an organ that consists of solid and liquid components. The solid component of blood is blood cells which include red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets, while the liquid component of blood is blood plasma. Hematocrit is an examination to see the proportion of red blood cells in the blood.

Oxygen levels in the blood (or oxygen saturation in the blood) can be influenced by various factors, including:

the availability of oxygen gas exchange in the lungs the concentration of hemoglobin in red blood cells the ability of hemoglobin to bind oxygen You need to know that hemoglobin and hematocrit are different things. Hemoglobin is a protein found in red blood cells that has the function of binding oxygen. Although it can affect oxygen saturation, low hemoglobin levels do not necessarily cause oxygen saturation to be low either. Hematocrit looks at the proportion of whole red blood cells as a whole (not just the protein in them). A person can have a normal amount of hematocrit, but if there are abnormalities in hemoglobin in red blood cells, oxygen saturation can also decrease. Therefore high or low hematocrit levels do not cause oxygen levels in the blood to be reduced.

In people who live in high areas or in people who have diseases that cause chronic oxygen deficiency (COPD for example), continuously low oxygen levels can trigger the production of more red blood cells so that hematocrit levels can increase. This does not apply in reverse (meaning low hematocrit which causes reduced oxygen levels).

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