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Doctor insights on: Why Is Elevated Oxygen Dangerous For Emphysema Patients

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Why is it so dangerous to give large amounts of oxygen to a patient with emphysema?

Why is it so dangerous to give large amounts of oxygen to a patient with emphysema?

Not usually: In the late stages of emphysema or copd, patients do not respond normally to stimuli that make normal patients breathe. They only keep breathing in response to low oxygen in their bloodstreams. If they are given too much oxygen, their systems think that they don't need to breathe and they can actually breathe less or stop breathing. This is a rare problem. Oxygen helps most emphysema patients. ...Read more

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Copd (Definition)

COPD may include chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or both. Chronic bronchitis is the production of increased mucus caused by inflammation. Bronchitis is considered chronic if you cough and produce excess mucus most days for three months in a year, two years in a row. Emphysema is a disease that damages the air sacs and/or the smallest breathing tubes in the lungs. ...Read more


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Will increasing a COPD patient's oxygen when taken to 5, 000 ft altitude injure her?

Will increasing a COPD patient's oxygen when taken to 5, 000 ft altitude injure her?

Usually not: Check with the doctor to make sure the patient does not have a tendency to retain carbon dioxide. Also, it is best to have an oximeter, a device that measures oxygen levels, with you. It will allow you to use just enough, not more not less. ...Read more

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What are the minimum oxygen requirements for COPD patients?

What are the minimum oxygen requirements for COPD patients?

No minimum: There is no minimum. Ambient air is 21%, if it is not enough, you go up from there. Oxygen delivered by a nasal cannula starts with 0.5 lpm and goes up from there by half liter increments. Common starting rates are 1 - 1.5 lpm. ...Read more

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Why should patients with COPD be given low flow concentration supplemental oxygen?

Why should patients with COPD be given low flow concentration supplemental oxygen?

Helps: if a patient has a saturation less than 88 they qualify for supplemental oxygen. oxygen is the only therapy proven to prolong life in advanced copd ...Read more

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Why would patients with COPD be given low flow concentration (1-2l/min) supplemental oxygen?

Low blood oxygen: At the advanced stages of copd, the lungs do not perform their function well, oxygen has a harder time crossing into the blood stream. At this point, the body is not getting enough energy, the blood oxygen level is low. Raising the amount of inhaled oxygen offsets the problem, and prolongs life. Oxygen is used at the lowest amount that would achieve the goal. ...Read more

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For what reason should patients with COPD be given low flow concentration (1-2l/min) supplemental oxygen?

For what reason should patients with COPD be given low flow concentration (1-2l/min) supplemental oxygen?

Low oxygen...: People with COPD can develop low oxygen levels due to their lung disease. Oxygen therapy is then administered in the lowest amount needed to treat their hypoxia. Too much oxygen can actually cause lung toxicity which worsens lung function. ...Read more

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Can COPD patient on oxygen get carbon monoxide poison?

Not usually: Carbon monoxide is found in cigarette smoke, out of car exhausts, and other places. Simply being on oxygen doesn't mean that you can get carbon monoxide poisoning, unless you get exposed to it. ...Read more

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Could you give high flow o2 to a COPD patient?

Depends...: Oxygen is only prescribed when the oxygen level in the body is low and only in the lowest amount needed to maintain the oxygen level at an acceptable level. Oxygen must be carefully prescribed by a doctor with monitoring of the patient's oxygen levels because giving too much oxygen is harmful as is not giving enough! see your doctor if you think your oxygen level is low! ...Read more

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Dr. Sue Ferranti
490 doctors shared insights

Emphysema (Definition)

Emphysema is a lung disease caused by destruction of lung tissue--specifically the alveoli, which are the smallest sac-like units of the lung responsible for oxygen exchange. It is characterized by shortness of breath, an expanded chest, and possible signs of low oxygen in the body such as bluish ...Read more


Dr. Scott Bolhack
3,072 doctors shared insights

Oxygen (Definition)

Oxygen is a gas that the cells in your body need to work properly. The air we breathe normally has 21% oxygen. A maximum of 100% oxygen can be given. Babies with heart or lung problems may need ...Read more