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A 23-year-old female asked:

i was on a flight today and i felt shortness of breath and my blood oxygen level read at 93%. i checked it again later and it was 98%. why would it be 93%?

1 doctor answer4 doctors weighed in
Dr. George Ciechanowski
Pulmonary Critical Care 40 years experience
Altitude: airplanes are pressurized only to 10000 feet but fly at 30000 therefore the drop in SaO2. Problems arise in some patients with COPD with a severe drop in SaO2 and a need for in flight O2.

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Last updated Jun 12, 2015

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