Oxygen–Hemoglobin Dissociation Curve

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Block A3 - Cardio-Respiratory System

Oxyhaemoglobin dissociation curve.png
Imagining the curve as a man and his blanket, in the cold wind.

Remembering the Oxygen-Hemoglobin Dissociation Curve[edit]

An easy way to remember the oxygen-hemoglobin dissociation curve:

Imagine the y-axis represents a man and the curve represents a blanket he is holding that is blowing in the wind.

  • Temperature and pH: Basically, as it gets colder, the man holds the blanket tightly, closer towards him. As the temperature goes down, the curve moves to the left. Also, use the word "basically" ("basic" = alkaline) to remember that higher pH will make the man hold the blanket tighter, which means the curve will move towards the left.
  • DPG and CO2 are gases. As the man holds the blanket loosely, the blanket begins to wave in the wind. Wind is made of gas, so as DPG or CO2 increase, the curve moves to the right.
  • Oxygen affinity: Holding the blanket tightly is also accurate in the sense that hemoglobin will hold oxygen tightly as well. In other words, oxygen affinity will increase towards the left.