Respiratory Disorders Expert Forum
Sudden lack of oxygen
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Sudden lack of oxygen

My dad is 78 years old.  He was diagnosed last year with CLL.  The CLL is in remission at this time.  He was getting along fine until about 6 weeks ago.  He was admitted to the hospital mid October due to lack of oxygen and suspicions of pneumonia.  They treated him for pneumonia and was released from the hospital 5 days later.  The pneumonia test was negative.  He was sent home on 3 liters of oxygen.  Up to this point he was never on oxygen.   He is now up to 4 liters of oxygen.   When at rest he is around 93% oxygen and then when trying to stand he can go down to 80%.  He is also not eating.  BP is good (116/72) .  EKG was fine.  We have not been getting any good answers as to why his oxygen level is so low.  We want to make sure we turn over every stone.  Any ideas?
242587_tn?1355427710
The sudden change in your Father’s condition, deemed subsequently to not be pneumonia, is worrisome, especially his sudden need for oxygen that was not needed in the past.  I strongly believe that this requires further investigation, specifically for previously unrecognized heart disease and for clots to the lung (pulmonary emboli.)

What you describe suggests that his physicians are content to treat him with oxygen, and it is important that his need for oxygen was recognized and treated, but it is equally important that further investigation be conducted to determine with reasonable certainty, the cause of this sudden turn of events.

I suggest that you and his doctors request consultation with a lung specialist (pulmonologist).

Good luck
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