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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

Dr. Adam Lewis
1 Doctor shared a insight

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?

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?

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?

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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Does COPD cause low oxigen levels in patients after surgery?

Does COPD cause low oxigen levels in patients after surgery?

COPD: COPD patients have a persistent state of low oxygen. They need to be monitored with yearly Pulmonary Function Tests with DLCO. Medical management with inhalers like combivent and dulera (formoterol and mometasone). Self management with home pulse OX. Also therapy for nicotine addiction if present. The stress of surgery often flares COPD depending how long and what anesthesia was used. You must be careful with giving O2 ...Read more

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Can I have very severe emphysema and need no oxygen?

Can I have very severe emphysema and need no oxygen?

Is possible: It is possible that one can have severe emphysema and not need oxygen. Can have oxygen levels checked with walking as well as at rest to assess need for oxygen. ...Read more

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Is it true that people with emphysema shouldn't breathe 100% oxygen?

Is it true that people with emphysema shouldn't breathe 100% oxygen?

Yes and No: Patients with emphysema are at some risk for developing high carbon dioxide levels (hypercapnea) if given high doses of oxygen. The oxygen will displace the carbon dioxide off of the red blood cell resulting in higher blood levels (haldane effect). However, hypoxia (low oxygen) is more likely to kill a patient than hypercapnea (high co2) so using high dose oxygen may be needed. ...Read more

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How can emphysema reduce the amount of oxygen that diffuses into the blood?

How can emphysema reduce the amount of oxygen that diffuses into the blood?

Destroys the lung: Emphysema causes destruction of lung tissue. The blood vessles in the lung get destroyed in the lung. These vessles carry the blood in the lung to pick up oxygen. If they are destroyed then, oxygen can not get into the blood vessles / blood and you get low oxygen. ...Read more

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How does emphysema reduce the amount of oxygen which diffuses into the blood?

How does emphysema reduce the amount of oxygen which diffuses into the blood?

From Destruction: The destruction in the lung tissue from emphysema makes the oxygen harder to cross into the blood because there is less tissue surface left.

With less air sacs to participate in gas exchange, it is harder for oxygen to cross into the blood. Does that make sense?

That's why people should stop smoking. ...Read more

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Could you exercise on oxygen if you have emphysema and your o2 sat dip to low 90's?

Yes: As long as your o2 sats stay at 90% or above, your cells will get plenty of oxygen, and you can exercise safely on oxygen.

There is very little increased benefit with o2 sats greater than 90%. The key is to stay above 90%. ...Read more

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A person with emphysema often needs to be given supplemental oxygen, but why is it important?

A person with emphysema often needs to be given supplemental oxygen, but why is it important?

O2 is good.: Long term oxygen therapy has been shown in some trials to improve mortality. It has also been shown in other trials to improve quality of life, reduce depression, improve cognitive function, improve exercise capacity, and reduce frequency of hospitalization. ...Read more

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Is it harder for people with emphysema to get enough oxygen while they're under general anesthesia?

Is it harder for people with emphysema to get enough oxygen while they're under general anesthesia?

Not usually: Room air contains only 21% oxygen. When a patient is under general anesthesia, we can increase the amount of oxygen breathed to 100% if necessary. So even with emphysema, it is rare to have problems receiving enough oxygen. However, patients with emphysema will have a harder time breathing on their own and recovering after surgery and general anesthesia. ...Read more

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I am on supplemental oxygen at night. Can one predict how soon I will need oxygen 24/7? I have severe emphysema.

O2: Really no way to predict it other than to say not smoking and avoiding exposure to smoke will certainly slow that progression down. ...Read more

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Would you consider a dose of 2l of oxygen for treatment emphysema a high dose or low dose?

Low: This is low dose oxygen and equal to roughly 27 percent inspired oxygen (we breath 21 percent). ...Read more

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Portable oxygen concentrator advice/comparison for overseas purchase to assist my father who has severe emphysema?

Oxygen concentrator: The best place to look is on E-bay but have his physician tell him what liter flow to use based on his disease ...Read more

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What are the long term affects of lack of oxygen to legs in emphysema?

What are the long term affects of lack of oxygen to legs in emphysema?

Bad: Lack of oxygen in emphysema is general and not localized to one part of the body. Most critical and sensitive parts are brain and heart. If there is additional poor circulation to the legs, lack of oxygen will contribute to leg cramps, leg pain, nerve damage, poor wound healing and gangrene. ...Read more

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How do you give oxygen to people with advanced emphysema or respiratory distress?

Carefully!: Advanced emphysema and respiratory distress are different. Both may require supplemental oxygen. Respiratory distress may result from many causes other than emphysema and almost always requires extra o2. Pts with severe emphysema or COPD rarely may slow or stop breathing with extra o2 because it takes away their urge to breathe. O2 must be given with extra caution to those pts. ...Read more

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My mom has emphysema and COPD and is on oxygen... Her nose constantly runs and it's always very cold what can we do to stop the drainage...?

My mom has emphysema and COPD and is on oxygen... Her nose constantly runs and it's always very cold what can we do to stop the drainage...?

COPD nose drain: COPD is a difficult to manage problem. Nose running can be related to meds she is on. Please ask her Dr. And tell her team about you observations and concerns. ...Read more

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Could you tell me what are long term affects of lack of oxygen to legs in emphysema?

Could you tell me what are long term affects of lack of oxygen to legs in emphysema?

Oxygen delivery: Lack of oxygen to any part of the body from any cause may cause ischemia. This causes the cells to do their work via alternate pathways. This causes Lactic Acid buildup pain and eventually cell death. Claudication is a term you may have heard when there is poor circulation to the legs causing pain. The poor circulation reduces the amount of oxygen delivered. ...Read more

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What is the best natural treatment for Mid Sept emphysema, an RS heart failure I don't have oxygen or bronchodilators, doc refused saying they won't work?

Exercise: Graded exercise for respiratory patients is your best bet. You should look for a structured program supervised by an exercise physiologist. We call this "Pulmonary Rehabilitation". If your oxygen saturation drops to ...Read more

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What medications do you commonly prescribe to your emphysema patients?

Treatment...: Typically, treatment for COPD begins with bronchodilator and possibly steroid inhalers as well as oxygen therapy if the oxygen level is low. Smoking cessation is also pursued if the patient still smokes in order to decrease airway inflammation and thus slow disease progression. ...Read more

Dr. Scott Bolhack
3,115 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


Dr. Sue Ferranti
498 Doctors shared insights

Emphysema (Definition)

A group of lung diseases that block airflow and make ...Read more