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What is considered a low oxygen level?

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Quick Answer

A low blood oxygen level, or hypoxemia, is considered anything under 90 percent, notes Mayo Clinic. A normal range is 95 to 100 percent. Blood oxygen level may be measured with a blood test or a pulse oximeter, which clips onto the finger and measures oxygen saturation through estimation.

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Full Answer

The body needs an appropriate amount of oxygen to function properly, states Mayo Clinic. Cells, organs and tissues need oxygen to live. Hypoxemia may be caused by a variety of conditions, such as acute respiratory distress syndrome, narcotics that depress the breathing, or pneumonia. Anemia, sleep apnea and COPD can also cause hypoxemia, as well as a host of other conditions.

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