Sepsis and acute respiratory distress syndrome are considered together as the oxygen transport abnormalities in these two conditions are very similar.
The cardiac output and Do2 are usually above the normal range in fully resuscitated patients. Despite the high values of Do2 found in severe sepsis, there is evidence of an inability of peripheral tissues to utilize oxygen with an inappropriately low Vo2, frequently in the presence of an increased arterial blood lactate representing anaerobic glycolysis. This oxygen transport pattern has been demonstrated in the earliest and the most recent clinical studies. The causes of this inability to consume oxygen are purely speculative.
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