The ability of hemoglobin (Hb) to carry oxygen throughout the body as oxyhemoglobin (HbO2) is dependent on the pH of the blood. What effect would acidosis have on the ability of a patient to transport oxygen?
Acidosis is a situation where the blood contains too much acid due to an increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the body. The pH of a person’s blood should be 7.4. Therefore acidosis occurs when the blood pH is less than 7.35. Acidosis causesan oxyhemoglobin dissociation curve, which facilitates oxygen delivery to tissues to shift to the right. As a result, patients report a different degree of dyspnea. They may also experience headaches, chest pain, confusion, bone pain, and general weakness. The primary effect of acidosis is an elevation of ventilation-perfusion ratios. Acidosis gives the patient difficulties in breathing.