My mom has been on oxygen for 1 1/2 years. Her blood gas level test was 52% and went through several test. Her heart and lungs seem to be fine now. Her current level is 72%. She does have sleep apnea and does a cpap at night. Her heart and lung specialist took her off of the oxygen today. I am very concerned because she is still out of breath very easily. The doctors said she was 10 pounds over weight and that is why she is out of breath. I just can't imagine being just 10 pounds over weight and being that out of breath. What should be done? Does this sound right to anyone else. Please help we are going around in circles. The doctors say go back to work now and her body still says no.
Is her saturation 72% or are they going by ABG's (blood gases) with PaO2 levels? Normal levels of PaO2 (A PaO2 of 52 would require O2...a PaO2 of 72 would be okay (normal values for this is 80-100). But..if they are talking about oximetry or oxygen saturations, then the levels which you describe would be too low. I would talk to the doctor to clarify these test results and to explain them to you. As far as her breathlessness, did the doctors do an exercise test while measuring her oxygenation? Sometimes at rest, people's O2 sats are okay but when they exercise or exert themselves, they may drop their levels. An explaination of 10 lbs overweight causing your mom's SOB doesn't sound right..but that is just my opinion. I am not a doctor and do not know her case, but that is just what I feel about this. Maybe you could get a second opinion...one question, what put your mom on oxygen in the first place? I see that she was on it for over a year...do the docs know why she needed it? Sorry for the many questions...I pray that you get answers soon. I can't imagine the frustration you must be feeling...Sunny
I agree with Sunny602. Neither of us being MD's, nor having any family history of your mother we can only suggest a few guidlines or question to ask your MD. The blood gas level test; was that for paCO2 or paO2 or oxygen percent? Increased weight gain, depends alot on the amount of time involved. (days, weeks, etc.) My first impression of the scenerio you provided, would be the possibility of CHF (congested heart failure) due to the weight gain and (SOB) short of breath. I'm assuming she may have (COPD) chronic obstructive pulmonary disease which was the initail reasoning of long-term oxygen. In addition, if this is the case I assume she is on spirva possibly advair or inhalers? Give a little history of your mothers condition and perhaps we can better help.
My brother in law had sleep apnea and had the surgery to help eliminate the problems. When he came out of surgery his oxygen level was low and they waited until it came up...when it did he was
My brother in law was in perfect physical condition and did work out...but he also smoked...
unfortunetly he passed away in his sleep...the heart was found to be enlarged and all the other organs in perfect condition. His oxygen level might have been the red-flag...but his appearence led
everyone to believe he was fine. I would have your mother have a complete check on her heart and
it's condition...it might explain the shortness of breath....and low oxygen.
good luck and hope everything turns out fine.
She has only gained 20 pounds over 2 years. She is now only 10 pounds over weight. All this started one day at work she was very faint and almost passed out. From there they had checked her lungs, heart, done ct scans and physical therepy 3 times a week. The doctors said in the beginning her blood gasses were at 52%, four different doctors got the same results. Then she went a sleep study and found out she had sleep apnea. Now she sleeps with a cpap machine. This whole time nobody has said what else had went into the blood gasses. We never knew there was a difference until I got on here last week. She is looking into getting the answeres soon. One thing I left out was she worked in a factory that did a lot of food chemicals. She worked with that stuff in popcorn, and many many other dangerouse things that goes into food. She is getting another opinion but hard to find another doctor she trusts.
All of this has to be exasperating for all of you...I understand you regarding finding a doctor who will be objective and not form opionions right away, someone you can trust to look outside the box if neccessary. It is very odd that her oxygen levels dropped like that and they could not find out why...but, they should not write her off, there was a reason for her low oxygen levels. I think that the docs probably meant PaO2 of 52% if they were looking at blood gases, which is definitely low. What tests on the heart and lungs did the docs do? I bet they did a stress test, did they do others? You mentioned CT scan, that is a good test...it is very useful in picking up many disorders, I am sure that they also checked for pulmonary embolisms too. Did they also happen to do a test called a V/Q scan? (It is a perfusion scan, used alot in detecting pulmonary embolisms or little blood clots in the lungs). I will tell you my personal story...it doesn't mean that your mom's case is identical, only that sometimes tests don't pick up everything.
About 5 years ago, I was presented to the hospital with shortness of breath, it had been ongoing and I felt terrible. Docs said it was my asthma and treated me as such...I went home and continued to feel awful. I went through the usual gamult of tests..CT scan, VQ scan (they were looking for blood clots) as well as other tests. My oxygenation was not great either. The doc finally sent me for a lung biopsy, to check out other lung diseases. What they found surprised him as well as myself. They found many little (micro) emboli in the arterioles in my lungs...and they weren't caused by the trauma of the surgery to retrieve the samples. They were old...so that explained one piece of the puzzle for me (I have several health issues...read my blog if you would like to know more). I did indeed have pulmonary emboli, but not traditionally...neither the CT scan or VQ scan picked them up, they were too small...but my ABG's weren't good. Thankfully my doctor decided to persue the cause and did not give up.
Chemicals can wreak havok on the body, that is certain. If she has worked with them for years and has inhaled them regularly, then that should be investigated more.
I hope that your mom gets anwers soon...she should ask for copies of the tests that were done for her own records. This will be helpful when she sees another specialist. Also, when she goes..tell her to write all of her questions down. I tend to forget really important questions everytime I go to the doctors, which is why I personally do this so that I get the most out of my appointment. A good doctor will not make her feel rushed, he or she should make sure that all of her questions are answered fully. Again, sorry for the many questions...I wish I could help more. Sunny
I just wanted to mention that a 10 lb difference in my weight makes a big differance in my breathing ability. My o2 is 72% when I am asleep and that is how I came upon your comment, I was looking for similar info. I just thought it might help to hear from someone else that has a weight/breathing issue of 10 lbs. A Dr. didn't tell me, I just noticed after losing 10 lbs and then started gaining it back, and there was a notable difference in when I had lost the weight, and then when gaining it back again.
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