[cyano- + -sis]
A blue, gray, slate, or dark purple discoloration of the skin or mucous membranes caused by deoxygenated or reduced hemoglobin in the blood. Cyanosis is found most often in hypoxemic patients and rarely in patients with methemoglobinemias. Occasionally, a bluish skin tint that superficially resembles cyanosis results from exposure to the cold. In the very young patient, cyanosis may point to a congenital heart defect.
cyanosed (sī′ă-nōst″, sī′ă-nōzd″)
This condition usually is caused by inadequate oxygenation of the bloodstream.
Supplemental oxygenation is supplied to cyanotic patients who are proven to be hypoxemic.
Oximetry or arterial blood gas analysis should be used to determine whether a patient is adequately oxygenated. Relying only on the appearance of the skin or mucous membranes to determine hypoxemia may result in misdiagnosis.
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