Does a normal blood oxygen level guarantee carbon dioxide level is within tolerable limits?
My mom is 66 years old and has COPD. Recently, we rushed her to the hospital because her blood oxygen level fell way below 50. Given her condition, her doctor said that her baseline should be 93 & above (with oxygen support) and 85 (without oxygen support). We found out later that she had pneumonia (she had no symptoms) and high carbon dioxide levels in her blood.
My question is, does having a blood oxygen level of 93 & above guarantee that her carbon dioxide level is within tolerable limits? Given her condition, the doctor said her CO2 level should not exceed 60. I think she's at 58 right now (based on the test given by the hospital). We have been monitoring her O2 levels through the fingertip pulse oximeter. We were told that there's no other way to determine the CO2 level except for the ABG test. If so, how regularly should this be conducted? How can the CO2 level be reduced?
You are mixing apples and oranges, and should not be advising physicians about taking ABG, which are painful and can result in permanant nerve damage. You need to go to Barnes and Noble, go to the medical book section and get a beginners test on "Blood Gases", which will explain away the basics of arterial blood gases, which are beyond the scope of a post on this forum. The one thing you DON'T want to do is to decide to play with C02 levels on your own, because you read some information on the net. You can do this, but I am not going to tell you how. The thing to remember is that "mother nature never does nuthin' for nuthin' , and blood gases are altered in response to compensatory mechanisms. Ask your physician for advice in this area, and follow their suggestions. I am sorry about your mom, but she is young at 66 and I am sure has a long ways to go. Pneumonia can cause all of these problems.
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