“Happy hypoxia” is a silent complication of the deadly coronavirus, warn doctors – The Sun


A MYSTERIOUS condition that sees coronavirus patients being able to talk to their loved ones despite a lack of oxygen is fatal, doctors warned.

Patients with the condition called “happy hypoxia” will have oxygen levels low enough to cause death or unconsciousness.

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    Oxygen levels drop for patients with the disease4
Oxygen levels drop for patients with the diseaseCredit: Alamy

Patients attending A&E in the UK came with oxygen percentage levels in the 80s or 70s and some even had levels below 50 percent.

A healthy person would have at least 95% oxygen saturation and a doctor from Manchester said it was “fascinating” to see how hypoxic some patients were when they attended an A&E.

Dr. Jonathan Bannard-Smith, who works at the Manchester Royal Infirmary, told the Guardian that confidence was seeing patients who were not aware of their low oxygen saturation levels.


“We wouldn’t usually see this phenomenon in the flu or community-acquired pneumonia. It’s much deeper and an example of a very abnormal physiology taking place before our eyes. ”

It was then that an anesthetist at Wythenshawe Hospital said that patients with other lung conditions would also suffer from hypoxia, but that they would generally seem extremely sick.

Dr. Mike Charlesworth said that with conditions such as pneumonia or pulmonary embolism, patients would not be able to talk to their healthcare professionals.

“We just don’t understand. We don’t know if it causes organ damage that we can’t detect. We do not understand if the body is compensating, ”he said.

What is happy hypoxia?

Doctors treating coronavirus patients have reported that some have signs of silent happy hypoxia, but what is the condition?

Happy hypoxia: The condition will see the body’s oxygen concentration levels drop below 60 percent in patients infected with coronavirus.

Patients will probably not feel uncomfortable at this level, which is why the condition is often not detected.

Since they will not show symptoms, in many cases patients will continue to behave normally before passing out or tightening.

It is dangerous for Covid-19 patients because the body is deprived of oxygen and the conditon can lead to further complications.

Signs and symptoms:

  • cough
  • wheezing
  • confusion
  • Fast breathing
  • shortness of breath
  • sweat
  • color changes in the skin
  • unusually slow / fast heartbeat

If you think you have signs of hypoxia, you should call NHS 111, where an operator can advise you about your symptoms, or in an emergency, dial 999.



Dr. Charlesworth himself suffered from hypoxia in March when he suffered from the virus. He said he had a cough and fever and started sending “strange messages to his phone”.

He said he was “mostly delusional” and said he was sure that his oxygen levels were low, but that his “brain was not working very well”.

Its symptoms echo those of many older coronavirus patients who have suffered from atypical symptoms such as vomiting, fatigue and delirium.

The emergence of such symptoms in Switzerland, the United States, France and Italy has led a doctor to draw up a list of the symptoms of the atypical virus.

Dr. Sylvain Nguyen, geriatrician at the University of Lausanne hospital in Switzerland, said it was important to collect a list of typical and atypical symptoms for older patients.

The atypical list includes symptoms such as low blood pressure, abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, fainting, delirium and fatigue.

So far in the UK, the virus has killed more than 28,000 people and the new symptoms may signal a new approach to how the virus is treated.

Although there have been cases of people with hypoxia surviving, a doctor in London said that a patient with 30 percent saturation was placed on a ventilator and died within a week. The doctor said the outcome of these patients tended to be poor.

Even if people have low oxygen levels, it’s actually the body’s reaction to the increase in carbon dioxide levels that could save patients with hypoxia.

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If the lungs cannot remove the gas effectively, it could be fatal, as swelling and inflammation in the lungs prevent oxygen from entering the bloodstream.

In many cases, patients are unable to recognize their symptoms in time, which is why the condition turns out to be fatal.

Dr. Charlesworth, however, said that the introduction of equipment such as oximeters would not be helpful in detecting hypoxia, as he said that the legitimacy of some of the machines was questionable and added that transporting the devices would mean that more people would go on the roads.


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