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I have high moderate copd and have a chest infection.   It is only mild and under control but had a coughing fit earlier and my sats dropped to 82!   Omg!  have well finished coughing fit and they have settled at 90.  That is low isn't it?   Is my smoking coming home to roost?  Am I on a sliding slide as from now?  Help please.  x

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  • Posted

    Hello

    Please don't panic.

    Having your saturation drop done temporarily is understandable during a coughing episode. It has returned to its likely normal rating.

    while 90 is lower than normal it is expected with COPD...do some slow deep breathing and it likely will come up.

    If you are having some shortness of breath, take a couple puffs of your rescue inhaler (with the spacer tube) and that will help as well.

    Hopefully you are on antibiotics at this time as well.

    Stay hydrated.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply Lill.   I am ok now thanks,  it was very scarey though.   I did my breathing exercises and they didn't help much,  took my blue ventolin reliever and that didn't help either.   My sats remained at mid to late 80's.   They are 91 now. 

      Am on ab's and steroids.   Bev x

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    • Posted

      Do you have a spacer to take your rescue inhaler...the tube apparatus that you use with that inhaler?
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    • Posted

      I did have a big one for a while but found it hard to get on with it.   I have my annual review in a few weeks so will ask if there is a smaller one available and make sure I know how to use it properly.  Many thanks fo rthe advice.  bev x
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  • Posted

    I'm here but I'm sorry, I have no idea of the answer to your question.   All I can say is that with COPD we're all on a downwards sliding scale which we can control and manage to some extent, but not indefinitely.

    Can you call your gp o practice nurse and see what they think?

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  • Posted

    Don't worry this is normal with infection .I was in hospital over weekend with an exacerbation and when I asked what oxy level I should be looking for iwas told for me 89-92 but it usually settles about 95 and as previous reply says a few big breaths will bring it up.
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  • Posted

    1 Dont panic. Stress only makes things worse. See good advice above re breathing. Pursed lip breathing feels impractical when you are totally out of breath but do try one in nose / out pursed lip in every (say) 5 or 6 breaths then gradually increase ratio. 

    2 A sat of 82 doesn't sound extraordinarily low in your condition - coughing kills me totally too. Remember though that finger sata thingies are not infallible, especially the lower the %age. Mine gave me 76 the other day so I switched it off and back on again. 99 !

    3 If you have home oxygen, use it. Don't be a martyr - just half a litre a min last night stopped me coughing and helped me to get to sleep. If you don't have it, ask for it !

     

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    • Posted

      Thanks emmgee sats of 82 sound very low to me as my FEV1 is around mid 70's.   It has never gone lower than 89 before the other night.   I am not on oxygen but I am glad it helps you.  Bev x

       

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  • Posted

    Hi Hypercat......I agree with lill......don't panic..When I was first diagnosed 3.5 years ago, my blood oxy was 72.  My GP had me go in immediately and they did an EKG to determine if I was having a heart problem.  I was sent directly for CT Scan, while towing an oxygen tank.  I then went directly to Pulmonary doctor because CT indicated COPD.  I use oxygen during the night and if my oxy dips down a bit in the evening.  Most times I am between 90 and 96.  My Pulmonary doctor said I was OK as long as I kept it above 88.
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    • Posted

      Thanks Sandy.   I know the cut off points for being in trouble ie under 88 especially under 84 but they are 91 at this moment which is a lot better.  Bev x

       

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  • Posted

    Hi hypercat

    Those 02 sats are low, I would keep an eye on them. take readings at rest and after activity and if you find these are consistently low do check in with your doc asap.

    Ideally 02 sats should be above 94.

    Make sure your oxymeter battery is not low, your hands were not too cold, many things can affect an accurate reading.  

    Search google, normal blood oxygen levels (Nonin have information on this)

    Search google for things that affect oxygen saturation levels

    Search google for using your oximeter

    Diaphragm breathing can help bring sats back up also walking up and down can, but if you find sats drop after walking up and down you should sit and do the diaphragm breathing.   Check in with your respiratory nurse for more information and guidance on this.

    Hope your sats stabilise soon.  Take care

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    • Posted

      Thanks Vee that's very helpful.   I never thought of the oxymeter being inaccurate!   They have stablised now though are only around 91/92.  Been low for a few days now.  Bev x

       

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  • Posted

    From Nonin site:

    If the saturation drops below 90%, a variety of symptoms may begin to occur such as increased shortness of breath with activity, increased heart work (reflected by an increase in pulse rate), the presence of bluish lips or nail beds, headaches, clumsiness, and confusion.

    Warning Signs

    A sudden drop in your oxygen level—for example during a severe cold or the flu—can be a sign of trouble.

    If you are on Long Term Oxygen Therapy, call your doctor if your normal oxygen setting is no longer maintaining your saturation and you feel sick. Also, call your supplier if you feel your oxygen system is not working.

    A high resting pulse rate of greater than 100 or a low pulse of less than 40 (check with your doctor to determine your individual pulse ranges) are also reasons to call your doctor.*

    During a severe breathing attack, it is possible to have a normal oxygen level. Seek medical help if you have severe shortness of breath, wheezing, or increased pulse rate, even if your oxygen saturation is normal.

    *Please be sure to check with your doctor to determine your own pulse rate ranges.

    Practice Pursed Lip Breathing

    The act of pursed lip breathing, i.e., exhaling slowly against pursed lips as in the act of whistling, is useful to your breathing efficiency in many ways. Pursed lip breathing teaches you to breathe in a deeper, slower fashion. In addition, it helps you to empty your lungs more completely. This is particularly important in emphysema/COPD, where over-inflation of the lungs is a problem.

    Some patients like to find out how long their oxygen saturation remains above 90% when their oxygen is turned off. It gives them a feeling of confidence when their oxygen flow is stopped for a short period.*

    *Check with your physician before trying this on your own.

    After you master pursed lip breathing, try doing this with exercise. Use your oximeter as you walk around the house and later outside and around the block. Try to walk at least 100 yards using pursed lip breathing. Use of a pedometer is helpful here. You will probably find out that pursed lip breathing will relieve your shortness of breath as well as improve your oxygen saturation, both at rest and during exercise.

    [TIP: When practicing pursed lip breathing, take a full breath, shape your mouth as though you are whistling, and breathe out slowly to resist the speed of the air leaving your lungs.]

    Reduce Shortness of Breath

    Overinflation of the lungs puts the breathing muscles at a mechanical disadvantage, adding increased load to the breathing. This is often interpreted as an increased effort to breathe or "dyspnea," which is an unpleasant sensation of breathing. Often patients can reduce their shortness of breath by slow, deep breathing and exhaling. Practice using your oximeter with pursed lip breathing, using two or three seconds to breathe in, and four, five or six seconds to exhale. Find a comfortable breathing rate and pattern and watch your oxygen saturation increase at a given oxygen setting. With your doctor's approval, you might also be interested in trying this while breathing room air. Your oxygen saturation while breathing room air will be achieved by stopping your oxygen for 10 to 20 minutes. It takes this long to use up the residual oxygen in your lungs (the amount of air left after you exhale).*

    *Please be sure to check with your doctor before trying this without your oxygen.

     

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    • Posted

      Hi Vee I am not on oxygen as am very high moderate and hopefully nowhere near it.  

      I do do the breathing technique which usually works and have done it a few times whilst using the oxymeter.  It does usually work but not the other night I'm afraid.   Bev xx

       

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