Insufficient oxygenation of the arterial blood. Results in hypoxia (below-normal levels of oxygen supply to tissue).
It is evidenced by restlessness, confusion, poor concentration, loss of the sense of taste, and, eventually, a coma.
It is treated by giving the patient added oxygen through a face mask, although ultimately the underlying cause will have to be determined and treated.
This can be caused by many diseases, but pneumonia is a common cause. Other causes include by hypoventilation, a venous to arterial shunt, and thin atmosphere, such as is found at high altitudes.
Also spelled hypoxaemia.