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Aviat Space Environ Med. 2011 Dec;82(12):1157-8.

PH2O and simulated hypobaric hypoxia.

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  • Universities Space Research Association, Houston, TX 77058-2769, USA. johnny.conkin-1@nasa.gov

Abstract

Some manufacturers of reduced oxygen (O2) breathing devices claim a comparable hypobaric hypoxia (HH) training experience by providing F1O2 < 0.209 at or near sea level pressure to match the ambient oxygen partial pressure (iso-PO2) of the target altitude. I conclude after a review of literature from investigators and manufacturers that these devices may not properly account for the 47 mmHg of water vapor partial pressure that reduces the inspired partial pressure of oxygen (P1O2), which is substantial at higher altitude relative to sea level. Consequently, some devices claiming an equivalent HH experience under normobaric conditions would significantly overestimate the HH condition, especially when simulating altitudes above 10,000 ft (3048 m). At best, the claim should be that the devices provide an approximate HH experience since they only duplicate the ambient PO2 at sea level as at altitude. An approach to reduce the overestimation and standardize the operation is to at least provide machines that create the same P1O2 conditions at sea level as at the target altitude, a simple software upgrade.

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PMID:
22195399
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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