Hypoxia

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Hi,I have asthma,and some Bronchietis ,copd,,,,for the last 6 months ,I have had a continuous productive cough,and my oxygen levels drop a lot more than they used to ,,,,12 months ago I was fpgoing to the gym 2 times  a week ,and managing comfortably to do ,2 mile on the treadmill at a decent level sometimes breaking into a jog for 5 minutes during a 40minute exersise,then 3 mike on the bike ,and 1000 meters on the rower at high level ,then managing an assortment of some of the weight machines,,,,no problems at all ,,,,then jan2014  I had a couple of falls & broke a couple of fingers ,,,,then my wrist that to be pinned ,,,,,,so I couldn't exersise ,,,,,so my fitness levels dropped,,,,when I was told I could exersise it was a struggle ,,,as I had developed this continuous cough ,,,,,but I did ok ,,,,,then I got a chest infection so couldn't exersise,,,,then I got the flu ,,,and so on ,,,,this week I have tried to exersise at the gym ,,,,but i just can't do it ,I get so breathless and start this productive cough ,,,,and get more breathless, even making the bed or getting dressed makes me short of breath ,,,,etc,,,,today I was at the gym and I saw the copd pulmary rehab nurse there ,,,she  has looked after me for years so knows me well ,,,,,and she said "it might be an idea to ask for an HYPOXIA TEST ,,,,,so in a round about way ,,,I've finaly got to the point ,,,,has anyone had this test ,,,what is it ,,,and what is it for ???  I would appreciate anyone's advise,regards 

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  • Posted

    At its simplest level the test is for oxygen levels , and these are often called O2 Sats.

    this can be measured by a little device which clips onto your finger almost like a chunky clothes peg. Asthma nurses and many GPs have these devices(called pulse oximetry), and I am surprised the pulmonary rehab nurse did not have one, and so your GP or practice nurse may be able to do it for you. These days they are not too expensive so I have known some COPD suffered who have there own. 

    At a more complicated level if you went to hospital they might take blood from an artery in your wrist, which gives more information not only about oxygen levels but also carbon dioxide and pH. I have had arterial blood test done and it was not as easy or painless as a normal blood test!

    the other thing is have you had a chest x ray done recently? And do you smoke?

     

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    • Posted

      Hi ,all of what you have said is true ,yes the nurse has an Oxymeter and tests me when I see her ,I also have one of my own for home use ,and when I've been in hospital with chest infections  pneumonia or flare ups and once I was admitted with septasyma,I have had the artery test many times in hospital ,,,,and yes it hurts,,,,,a lot ,,,I have had X-rays and scans in the last 3 months,and yes I used to smoke ,I gave up back in 1992 ,,,,it's just the last infection I had along with the flu ,(,and ,to a non medical person ,,,) it seems to have left me with low oxygen levels ,,,for me ,,,,my normal levels before this last illness were 94/95, on a daily basis ,and didn't drop below below  93 again on a daily basis when well ,

      but now at rest it's 90/91 ,,,,,and just making the bed or getting dressed etc dropping to low 80's,,,,,just on a daily basis my life seems to have changed ,,,,I just don't seem to be able to do what I used to back in

      ( 2013) I was able to do all my house work myself with very little problems ,I could go shopping for the day with friends. ( not now ) and going to the gym was a pleasure ,,,I know I have health problems,,,,but my aim has always been the same ,,,,not to require home oxygen ,and now I'm thinking ,,,is this where I'm heading ,,,,,is having the artery test the only way to get a true reading of my oxygen levels

      ( I know the Oxymeter Is a guide ) and would it mean a stay in hospital ,or just an outpatient appointment ,thanks for your informed comments I look forward to your reply ,

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  • Posted

    Yes it is the more accurate way of testing. How it is done Depends on where you are in the world. But in the UK normally the Chest Clinic specialist will arrange for the specialist respiratory nurse to do the arteriial test before and after exertion to see if you are 'de saturating' - meaning the oxygen is dropping too much(hypoxia simply means low oxygen). They can then assess your need for oxygen at home. I don't think they usually need to admit you for the test. It sounds like you are under a specialist already. I am surprised your plum rehab nurse has not liaised wit them for you.
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    • Posted

      Hi yes I'm in the uk ,STAFFORDSHIRE, I am under a specialist and the pulmary rehab nurse is in the process of disscusing with the head of the copd nurse specialist ,ass to whether  I need to have the test ,I have an appointment on the 25 th February with her and I think I will ask her if I need to have the test,she will have ALL my health history as I have been under their care since 2008 ,thanks for the advise, I'll let you know any results,
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    • Posted

      sounds like you are being well looked after and on the right track. let us know how you get on. g
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