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Mayo Clinic Medical Science Blog


This is simply the percentage of oxygen saturation in the blood or “tissue perfusion” (actually the measure of oxygenated hemoglobin molecules). It remains fairly constant until a person reaches high altitude. At sea level it’s 95 to 100%. At Everest base camp (17,600 feet) it is between 70 and 80%. Once at high altitude, the Sa02 drops, but then flattens out due to increased breathing and heart rate.  There is quite a bit of variation between individuals for this measure.

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