Hypoxic drive

The chemoreceptors in a healthy individual rely on raised blood carbon dioxide levels to trigger inhalation. In cases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease where blood oxygen levels are lower than normal and the body retains higher than normal levels of carbon dioxide in the blood, the respiratory drive switches from being triggered by high CO2 to being triggered by blood oxygen levels.

The hypoxic drive is a form of respiratory drive in which the body uses oxygen chemoreceptors instead of carbon dioxide receptors to regulate the respiratory drive.

Seen in conditions such as advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease where the normal trigger for breathing is no longer effective, and the body relies on detecting low levels of oxygen to trigger inhalation.

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