What does oxygen do to support life

Oxygen is vital. In order to maintain the energy production of the cells, the entire human tissue is dependent on a constant supply of oxygen.

When inhaled, oxygen reaches the smallest airways in the lungs, the alveoli, via the larger airways. As a result of the different partial pressure, a gas exchange takes place between the inhaled air / gas mixture and the capillary blood.

Increase the pressure gradient
After absorption in the capillaries, oxygen, for the most part in the form of molecules bound to hemoglobin, is transported to the various body tissues. Here the oxygen can be released to the cells via a further pressure gradient, where it is involved in an enzymatic chain reaction that supplies energy. A higher proportion of oxygen in the inhaled air / gas mixture also increases the pressure gradient that controls the oxygen transport to the cells. This ensures that oxygen can be delivered to the cells without interruption even under difficult conditions.

Preservation of cell energy
By administering oxygen at a pressure higher than atmospheric pressure (hyperbaric oxygen therapy * = HBO), the amount of oxygen transported via the bloodstream to the peripheral tissues can be increased compared to that at normal atmospheric pressure. Therefore, through an intermittent treatment with hyperbaric oxygen, even oedematous (swollen) and poorly perfused tissue areas can be adequately supplied with oxygen. In this way, energy production in the cells and cell function are preserved.

* Hyperbaric oxygenation (HBO) or positive pressure oxygen therapy means that 100 percent oxygen is administered at a pressure that is 1.4 times higher than atmospheric pressure at sea level (1 atmosphere = 101.3 kPa = 760 mmHg) is. For safety reasons, a pressure of 3 atmospheres must not be exceeded with an HBO.