mean annual spo2 decrease in severe emphysema patients

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I had been mild emphysema patient from 2005 (spo2 level 97%) and developed to stage 3 (severe) patient with spo2 level 95% in 2013.

Now(2017) my spo2 level decreased again to 92%. My Doctor suggests

that i might be on LTOT within 3-5 years. Anybody experienced this decrease?

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  • Posted

    The levels of COPD mild, moderate, severe....generally are determined by your FEV1, forced expiratory volume. As well as other considerations.  IFEV1 is given as a percentage. SPO2 is not used to determine severity. 

    For FEV1 you blow into a device that determines your FEV1. There are other tests they do as well and you are put in a phone booth looking thing. 

    They should also see what your SPO2 is while walking. I can hold 92% while sitting but desaturate quickly with walking. I am in the severe range and on O2 24x7. You should be above 88% while walking. If not you should probably be on O2 for activity. You did not mention what your doctor is. You should have a pulmonary doctor for COPD care. 

    • Posted

      Thanks for the informations.

      Actually my FEV 1 value is 36%(postbronchodilater)(1.24 liter).

      My concern is if I could be on oxygen treatment within 3 to 5 years

      as my pulmonary doctor mentioned. My SpO2 had been 97% in 2005,

      95% in 2013 and now 92%. (rapidly desaturated during recent 3 years

      when compared that between 2005 & 2013)

      My SpO2 while walking is 88%(4% desaturation) and my doctor did not recommend ambulatory oxygen therapy since I am not active (70

      years old). I will see if I need to. My concern is " roughly how long will

      it take for my SPO2 fall to 89%"?

      Best, Soon

  • Posted

    Hope you can manage to prove your doctor wrong soon.  Try to keep the exercise going on a regular basis and you may have a good chance of slowing and stabilising the progress of COPD.

    If you are out of condition maybe ask your GP for a referral to pulmonary rehabilitation to kick start your fitness programme.

    Its important to avoid anyone with a cold or the flu virus, we need to try and avoid lung infections to help prevent further lung damage especiall to act quickly with medication treatment if you do get a lung infection.

    Stay well, breathe easy.

    Best wishes V

    • Posted

      Many thanks, Bee.

      My only exercise is walking indoor for about 20 minutes every day.

      My SPO2 level during walking is 88% and my heart rate hikes up to

      120-128, which is about 80-85% of my maximum heart rate.

      Do you think I need some more exercise?  I once was referraled to

      IPR for 6 weeks and now I just walk for 20 minutes a day at a slow pace (300 meters for 6 minutes), even which i guess helps me out

      to reduce my shortness of breath and also my feeling of fatigue.

      Thanking you again,

      Best regards, Soon

      I had been a chain smoker and it makes me a rapid decliner in FEV1

      value. Also my homogeneous emphysema seems to make me a rapid

      decliner, according to my pulmonologist. (My FEV1 value was 49% in

      2013, 36% in 2016. more than 4% of decline a year!)


  • Posted

    I suspect that if you get into pulmonary rehab all of your numbers will come up as well as your level of severity. Leg exercises are very important f to r muscle building. The walking you are doing is great. You might want to start trying to extend that to increase endurance and muscle. Squats and bridges really help the legs. The stronger a muscle is the more efficiently it uses oxygen and the less effort it takes to do things. Perhaps your doc can get you into pulmonary rehab. Around here we have a program called silver sneakers through many different insurance companies. It gives a free pass for many gyms around town. 

    Rehab also offers socialization. I go in the afternoon so not many people. But  most of the morning crowd goes to socialize more than work out. Getting in shape is just a bonus of their social time. 


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