An average person at sea level has about 13-14 kilopascals (kPa) of oxygen in their bloodstream, University College of London medical researcher Dan Martin says. When his intensive care patients drop to around 8 kPa he gets very worried, and a normal person with 6 kPa of oxygen faces almost certain death. Imagine his shock, then, when he and three colleagues on the top of Mount Everest measured their own blood oxygen level to be between 2.5 and 4 kPa, the lowest ever measured in live people.
Martin and his colleagues -all experienced climbers- also took muscle biopsies while on the mountain. They hope their findings may lead to knowledge that will help patients in intensive care, where sudden oxygen drops can lead to death. http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/health_medicine/4298495.html -via Digg
(image credit: Pavel Novak)