Respiratory failure, mechanisms of abnormal gas exchange, and oxygen delivery

Med Clin North Am. 1983 May;67(3):557-71. doi: 10.1016/s0025-7125(16)31189-0.


Patients with respiratory failure may have abnormal gas exchange based on a number of mechanisms. Each of these mechanisms may indicate a different underlying pathology and thus suggest different therapeutic interventions. In addition, the ability to monitor changes in physiologic function can be complicated but is achievable when proper protocols are followed. It should be clear that an adequate understanding of the underlying physiology is crucial to the successful management of these very difficult patients.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Hypoventilation / physiopathology
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Pulmonary Diffusing Capacity
  • Pulmonary Gas Exchange*
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / physiopathology*
  • Ventilation-Perfusion Ratio


  • Oxygen