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copd and emphysema breathing attacks
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copd and emphysema breathing attacks

My dad has copd and empheysema. He just recently went on oxygen 24/7. The last few days he has had attacks at night where he can't seem to get a breath. His body shakes and legs move all over the bed while he trys to get a breath. This happened once while he was not on the oxygen and once while he was on the oxygen. When we tested his oxygen level (while he was on the oxygen) it was at 62. These episodes last about an hour or longer and he doesn't seem to remember much. He doesn't have a doctor appointment until January but, I think he needs to go immediately. He has been in the hospital with pneumonia about 2 years ago and was given oral antibiotics and sent home with a v-pack. I am wondering if the infection is back and that could be causing these attacks.  Also, he just went on vacation with us labor day weekend and wasn't on oxygen and was moving around o.k. He got oxygen a month ago and it seems like he has been progressively getting worse since the oxygen. Can the oxygen cause fluid in his lungs? oh, by the way he still smokes.  Probably about three or four cigarettes a day. .
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Oxygen is not the problem; lung disease is.  

Unfortunately, COPD and emphysema are progressive.  Smoking the most common cause.  My father-in-law quit smoking a few years before his death, but the damage was already done and he died of COPD and emphysema.  

I had been noticing all the signs coming on for a while, but his doctors weren't checking for it, and his wife, an RN, wasn't even suspicious of the problem.  I finally blurted out that instead of checking for things he was at low risk for, like osteoporosis, had anybody checked his oxygen level.  It was 80%.  Everybody was shocked.  For a while he got by with just a CPAP machine at night, then oxygen at night, and then more and more frequent oxygen use.  But the lung tissue is scarring and getting harder where it can't deflate.  So the tissue can't move oxygen in and C02 out anymore.  It gets worse and worse until they can't get enough oxygen to live.  Continuing to smoke is speeding it up, but even stopping smoking now won't turn back the clock.  Mixing oxygen and a lit cigarette is extremely hazardous, of course.  


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