Respiratory Disorders Expert Forum
Low oxygen levels
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Low oxygen levels

I had CABGx4 in 1998 followed by multi system organ failure and spent a week on a ventilator. After I was removed from the vent we had a hard time getting my 02 levels up to 95-96 but by the time I was released from the hospital I was around 96. For the past few months have noticed shortness of breath plus using a Nonin pulse ox have noticed my 02 levels run around 90-92 dropping to 88 when exercising. I mentioned this to my cardiac dr who thought those numbers were acceptable and that we would keep an eye on it. I had an echo to check to see if my SOB was from leaky heart valves and while there is mild leaking nothing different than after bypass. When I was released from the hospital after bypass I did have a portion of lower lung that was partially collapsed but through exercises with the Voldyne 5000 they said it was returned to normal. I'm just concerned now because I'm not sure just what I should accept as normal in the 02 levels and with the SOB should I be seeing a pulmonary doctor or just assume this is all a result of the problems I had after bypass and is to be expected. What are some of the reasons for low 02 levels? ..already checked out pulmonary hypertension and my PA pressure was 30......down from 59 in 1998.....
     Thanks for any help..really appreciate this forum!!
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Abnormally low arterial oxygen saturations can be caused by either heart disease or lung disease. It is extremely unlikely that this would be caused by the CABG, itself. It is more likely to be related to either a pre-existent lung disorder or to lung injury that occurred during the week spent on the ventilator and/or the condition that necessitated that ventilatory assistance.
Also, a saturation of 88% with exercise is not normal (at sea level) and would best be evaluated by a pulmonologist.
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