Respiratory Disorders Expert Forum
normal oxygen levels
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normal oxygen levels

My husband visited a cardiologist.  His history and symptoms were presented as follows:  mild heart attack 16 years earlier; stint implanted 15 years ago; not seen by cardiologist since then; awakening at night short of breath and has to sit up; short of breath when walking short distance; pain in legs.  His oxygen level was 80 in the doctor's office.  Should he be admitted to hospital?
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Your husband should be completely evaluated, without delay.  What is happening is serious.  The 2 main possibilities are that he has:  1) heart failure, possibly due to a “silent” heart attack; or 2) clots to his lungs, especially if his legs are not just painful but also tender to touch.  The leg pain could be due to poor circulation due to heart failure and/or blockage of blood vessels to his legs or it could be a sign of blood clots forming in the leg veins, called deep vein thrombosis.  Clots that develop in the deep leg veins are the most common source of clots that travel to the lungs.

You and/or he should contact his doctor immediately and arrange for him to be evaluated on an urgent basis.  What you describe is what we consider a medical emergency.  As your husband’s advocate, you should not accept the offer of “an appointment next week.”

Good luck.
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