Oxygen and carbon dioxide in blood are carried in hemoglobin, a substance inside the red blood cells. Hemoglobin in oxygenated blood that is returning from areas of the lung where gas exchange has occurred is normally saturated. Therefore hyperventilation of room air will not add much oxygen to the blood stream. If a patient suffers from low oxygen due to a mismatch in ventilation and perfusion, the patient must breathe air with a higher percentage of oxygen than that which occurs in room air.
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