Outline the physiological detection and response to an acute decrease in PaO2

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College Answer

Candidates were expected to focus on the physiology (including mechanisms) involved with 
detection of hypoxia (e.g. peripheral chemoreceptor stimulation) as well as response. 
Examples of response included sympathetic stimulation, the respiratory centre and organ 
specific (e.g. cardiac, CNS, blood, cellular, etc) responses. This topic is well covered within a 
number of fundamental texts, in particular, Nunn’s Respiratory Physiology. In general 
candidates’ answers were not “broad” enough, lacked detail and were too focused on 
chemoreceptors only.