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n CME : Your SA Journal of CPD - Indications for and benefits of long-term oxygen therapy in patients with COPD : more about... pulmonary
Hypoxaemia in COPD
COPD primarily affects the lungs and can eventually impair the transfer of oxygen from the atmosphere to the blood. Our lungs contain approximately 300 million alveoli whose ultra-thin walls form the surface for gas exchange. Within the wall of each of these alveoli is a network of blood vessels, the capillaries, which bring blood to this gas exchange surface. In COPD, there is abnormal dilatation of the alveoli, destruction of the alveolar septa and loss of capillary network.
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