How Low Can Your Oxygen Level Go Before You Die?

How Low Can Your Oxygen Level Go Before You Die?

No matter how depressing the title sounds, it is our sad reality today. Let us assure you that this blog post will give you the right answers and help you prevent fatality. During this pandemic, most people are checking their oxygen levels multiple times a day, especially if they symptoms of COVID-19. Unfortunately, if you are one of the people looking for how low can your oxygen level go before you die, we will tell you what you need to do immediately. We hope this post helps you act promptly and prevent fatality.

How does oxygen transport in our bodies?

Before anything else, let us tell you if your oxygen level is anything below 60, is hazardous, and needs immediate treatment.

The total quantity of oxygen (O2) circulating in our blood is called blood oxygen level. Red blood cells carry the oxygen. They collect the oxygen from our lungs and distribute it to all parts of our body.

Our body monitors the oxygen levels so that they can be in a specific range, and every cell in our body has enough oxygen.

Moreover, the oxygen levels indicate how the body is doing to transport oxygen to different parts of the body.

What is the usual blood oxygen level in the human body?

When using the arterial blood gas analysis (ABG) test to calculate the oxygen levels in the blood, the normal range should be between 75 – 100 ml of mercury (mmHg). Also, on the lab report, the test result might be mentioned as:

Partial Pressure of Oxygen (PaO2)

PaO2 measures the partial pressure of the blood oxygen level. Also, it measures oxygen pressure that is dissolved in the blood and the movement of oxygen from the lungs to our blood. The normal range for PaO2 is between 75 – 100 mmHg.

Partial Pressure of Carbon Dioxide (PaCO2)

PaCO2 measures the partial pressure of the carbon dioxide level. Also, it measures carbon dioxide pressure that is dissolved in the blood and the amount of CO2 exhaling from the body.

Oxygen Saturation (O2 Sat)

It is the oxygen saturation level and calculates the amount of hemoglobin in the red blood cells that carry oxygen. The normal range is between 96% – 99%. It must be above 94%.

If you are wondering how low can your oxygen level go before you die, then it shouldn’t be below 88%.

Power of Hydrogen (pH)

The pH calculates the acid or base balance in our blood.

Bicarbonate (HCO3)

It will calculate how many chemicals are there in the body that makes the pH of the blood either too basic or too acidic.

If you are using any pulse oximeter to calculate the oxygen level in the blood, then make sure the range is between 96% – 100%.

Oxygen Cylinder

What is a dangerously low oxygen level?

If you want to know how low can your oxygen level go before you die or pass out, it is either below 75 mmHg or 94%. Your PaO2 should be more than 75 mmHg, and O2 sat should be more than 95%. Anything below that is dangerous for the body.

You most probably have hypoxemia if your test results show those results. However, people suffering from some diseases that might be in the normal range.

For example, suppose someone has refractory asthma (non-reversible), chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or any other chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In that case, their normal blood oxygen level might be lower than the normal range.

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How low can your oxygen level go before you die? What if it drops suddenly?

If the ABG test shows that the blood oxygen level is 60 mmHg or below that, it means the oxygen level is dangerously low. You need a supplementary oxygen cylinder instantly. Supplemental oxygen helps to deliver oxygen gas for the person to breathe.

Generally, a person will get supplemental oxygen from a device called a cannula tube. It is clipped on the side of the nose. Also, you can get them with a breathing mask.

Occasionally, the oxygen gas is delivered directly by a tube in the windpipe (trachea). The amount of oxygen gas you need depends on the ABG test result.

How low can your oxygen level go before you die? And the answer is if it is 40 mmHg or below. If the blood oxygen level is 40 mmHg or below, then the person might get a sudden heart attack.

How low can your oxygen level go before you pass out

If the oxygen level is between 60 – 75 mmHg, then a person might pass out. In that case, they should be admitted to the hospital immediately.

How to increase oxygen level in covid patient?

If you to know how to increase blood oxygen level for covid patient, then the easiest way to do that is by doing proning. There are two ways to do that:

  1. Lie down on your bed and keep a pillow below your neck, one under your chest, one under your upper thigh, and lastly, two pillows below the lower legs.
  2. The other way to do it is to –

Firstly, sleep on the stomach.

Secondly, lay down on the left side and do the same on the right side.

Thirdly, sleep on the stomach again.

Lastly, slowly sit up and make sure there is a pillow on the back.

But, do not do it after any meals, and make sure you are comfortable while doing it. If you feel any kind of discomfort, then immediately stop.

Keep track of the blood oxygen levels

If you are someone who is panicking about how low can your oxygen level go before you die or how low your oxygen level can be, then you must check your oxygen level every day, especially during the pandemic.

The easiest way to check your oxygen level is by an oximeter. They are easily available online and are not expensive.

How to use an oximeter?

  • Clean your finger properly before using it.
  • Also, make sure you do not have any nail polish when you are putting your finger on the oximeter.
  • You must keep your finger for 1 minute in the device before taking it out.
  • Once the device shows the result, write it down on a notepad.
  • Keep a track and inform your doctor if your oxygen levels go below the normal rate.
Check oxygen saturdation with an Oximeter

Yoga Asanas to do to maintain the blood oxygen levels

Oxygen is the most vital thing for a person, and most Covid19 patients mainly suffer due to the low level of oxygen. Moreover, if the condition is severe, then the patients might have acute respiratory distension syndrome or pneumonia.

Furthermore, an adult human body can use upto 330 – 350 liters of oxygen every day. If a person does not get oxygen for 3 minutes, then they can die due to heart failure.

There are some breathing exercises that a lot of doctors recommend to improve lung health. Moreover, breathing exercises are great for our lungs as these exercises improve the lung muscles.

Furthermore, they help eliminate toxic secretion and boost the capacity by providing a suitable quantity of oxygen. Here are two yoga asana which will help you to increase the blood oxygen levels.

Anulom Vilom Pranayama

It is also known as nostril breathing. This asana helps to clear the nasal passage and enhance the respiratory muscle. Best time to do it in the morning on an empty stomach. Otherwise, you can do it after 3 – 4 hours post-meal.

Regularly doing this can also help to treat some respiratory disorders like bronchitis, asthma, and more.

Moreover, some studies have said that this asana can lessen the risk of some health disorders like severe depression, migraine pain, high blood pressure, heart issues, and arthritis.

It also helps to get rid of negative thoughts. You will be a more positive person and can overcome emotions like frustrations, irritation, nervousness, and forgetfulness. Also, your concentration, decision-making skill, focus, creativity, and patience will improve tremendously.

How to do Anulom Vilom Pranayama

  • Sit on the ground and cross your legs in the meditation position. If you cannot sit on the floor, you can do it while sitting on the chair. Make sure the chair doesn’t have any cushion or pillow.
  • Close the right nostril with the right thumb. Now inhale by the left nostril.
  • Release the right nostril. Now with the ring and middle finger, close the left nostril. Exhale by the right nostril.
  • After inhaling by the right nostril, release the fingers. Repeat the process.
  • When doing this asana, make sure you are breathing slowly and by alternate nostrils. Focus on your breath.
  • Start with 5 minutes of practice every day and gradually increase it up to 15 minutes every day.
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Breathing exercises are necessary to prevent COVID fatality

Bhramari Pranayama

It is a humming exercise that helps to increase the nitric oxide (NO) in our body. It also helps to open the blood vessels and helps to increases the blood flow by the vessels, and stops our muscles from shrinking.

Also, it is best to cure stress and helps to have a peaceful mind which is a self-healing process.

It also lowers blood pressure hence relieving hypertension. Bhramari Pranayama also releases cerebral tension and soothes our nerves. So, it is best to do it at night to have a better sleep schedule.

Furthermore, it stimulates the pituitary and pineal glands so that these glands can work properly. Regular practice of this yoga will also dissipate anger and rage.

Also, it protects the heart and decreases illness that is related to the heart. It is excellent to stop heart blockages.

How to do Bhramari Pranayama

  • Sit on the ground and cross your legs in the meditation position or, if not comfortable, then on a chair.
  • Use your thumb to close the ears and then place the ring and middle finger gently on the inner corner of the eyes.
  • Place the index finger above the eyebrows, and the pinky finger will be placed on the cheeks.
  • First, take a deep breath. When you are exhaling, make a humming sound like “om” or “hmm.”
  • Make this soft sound while you are exhaling. Repeat the entire process.
  • Do these 10 minutes every day to see benefits. After a week you can notice the difference.


Even though there are no harmful side effects of Bhramari Asana, but if someone does it wrong, then there might be some difficulties one might face and won’t get the benefits of the asana.

Here are some precautions so you can avoid the side effects:

  • Put the thumb on your tragus cartilage. Never insert the thumb inside the ears.
  • Place the thumb gently on the ear and do not put pressure on your tragus cartilage.
  • The best time to do yoga is before sunrise.
  • Make sure your mouth is close when you are doing this yoga.
  • If you feel tired while doing yoga, then stop it instantly. Take a break between each session.
  • People who have any kind of ear infection must avoid this yoga until it is cured.
  • You should do it on an empty stomach.

Note, if you are doing this to have a better sleeping schedule, make sure you have your dinner at least 5 hours before doing the yoga

Symptoms of low blood oxygen levels

If you are wondering how to know the oxygen level is low or how low can your oxygen level go before you die, then here are some symptoms which means your oxygen level is decreasing:

  • Headache
  • Rapid breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Agitation
  • Restlessness
  • High blood pressure
  • Can’t see properly
  • Chest pain
  • Shakiness
  • Rapid heart palpitation
  • Confusion about your surroundings
  • Feeling suddenly overwhelmed
  • Cannot coordinate

Final Thoughts

Low oxygen is not always harmful as it can happen to any healthy people at a high altitude or someone people do have low level due to some illness which is normal % for them. They do not need to check their blood oxygen level every day.

Furthermore, the normal range of oxygen level is 75 – 100 mmHg. Anything between 40 – 60 mmHg is dangerous for the person and can cause major health issues.

Also, if you are thinking about how low can your oxygen level go before you die, then anything below 40 mmHg can cause death. At this rate, a person might have a heart attack which will result in death.

To have a normal oxygen level, it is best to do some yoga every day for at least 5 minutes and having a healthy lifestyle.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How low can your oxygen level go before you die?

Ans: The oxygen level at which a person may face a risk of death varies depending on individual factors. Sustained oxygen levels below 80-85% can be extremely dangerous and potentially life-threatening. However, it’s important to note that individual tolerance and response to low oxygen levels can vary.

Q2. What are the symptoms of dangerously low oxygen levels?

Ans: Symptoms of dangerously low oxygen levels, known as severe hypoxemia, can include confusion, rapid breathing, shortness of breath, cyanosis (bluish discoloration of the skin or lips), rapid heart rate, and loss of consciousness. These symptoms require immediate medical attention.

Q3. Can people adapt to lower oxygen levels over time?

Ans: In some cases, individuals living at high altitudes or with certain medical conditions may adapt to lower oxygen levels over time. However, this adaptation is limited, and extremely low oxygen levels can still be life-threatening.

Q4. Are there certain medical conditions that make people more vulnerable to low oxygen levels?

Ans: Yes, individuals with pre-existing lung conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), severe asthma, or pulmonary fibrosis may be more vulnerable to the effects of low oxygen levels. These individuals require close monitoring and management of their oxygen levels.

Q5. What should I do if I suspect dangerously low oxygen levels?

Ans: If you suspect dangerously low oxygen levels or experience symptoms of severe hypoxemia, it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention. Call emergency services or go to the nearest emergency room for proper evaluation and treatment. Timely medical intervention is essential to prevent complications and potential loss of life.