Respiratory Disorders Expert Forum
Limited lung capacity
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Limited lung capacity

My wife has a significant respiratory problem due to a very limited ability to increase her limited lung capacity.  We need information providing ways to offset this problem.  She has been on 24-hour oxygen supply for the past year.  When on oxygen her reading is 95, but when oxygen is taken away for a 5-minute period,  the level drops to slightly below 79.  This situation emanated from the diagnosis of pulmonary emboli, with significant blood clots in the lung.  Hospitalization was one week. (Feb. 2003)The following month she was readmitted to the hospital with congestive heart failure. (March 2003)  Her hospitalization was again one week.  Her heart condition could not be determined through a catheterization procedure as our local cardiologist said it could not be performed until her lung condition had improved. While awaiting this situation I took her to the Cleveland Clinic for a second opinion.  They elected, with our approval, to carry out a catheterization which determined that she needed immediate surgery to replace the aortic and mitrial valves.  The surgery was successful and she was released after two weeks. (April 2003)Six weeks ago she suffered two spells within 10 minutes when her pulse rate dropped. It was determined to be only 33 beats/min. when admitted to the emergency room.  During her hospitalization a pacemaker was installed and set for a pulse rate of 60. (June She is capable of walking short distances within her home with the aid of a walker.  Further impacting her respiratory condition is the need to lose additional weight, though a significant 41 pound loss has already been accomplished.Her doctors are prepared for her to undergo physical therapy to help correct her situation with regard to her past history. The afore-going is a synopsis of her current condition and past history.  We need information as to how she may further improve her condition whereby she can increase her lung capacity and hopefully get off 24-hour oxygen.n spite of her condition she is extremely positive and motivated.In spite of her condition she is extremely positive and motivated.


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It must be determined by the Cleveland Clinic, that your wife's lung and heart are as good as they can be.  Then it must be determined that she is no longer having blood clots in the lung.  If these conditions are met, she should then start a long-term physical conditioning program.  This should include both pulmonary and cardiac rehabilitation.  If all of the blood clots are now firmly fixed in the blood vessels of her lungs, it is likely that she will need to continue using oxygen.  Her blood oxygen level should be checked in all circumstances, including at rest, standing, lying down, awake, asleep, and with activity.
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