4 doctors weighed in:
Is it true that people with emphysema shouldn't breathe 100% oxygen?
4 doctors weighed in

Dr. Aaron Milstone
Internal Medicine - Pulmonology
2 doctors agree
In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Dr. Aaron Milstone
Dr. Aaron Milstone
Thank
Dr. Hesham Hassaballa
Internal Medicine - Pulmonary Critical Care
In brief: Sort of
In a small proportion of patients with emphysema, the lungs are so damaged that the body actually depends on the low oxygen levels to drive breathing.
In these patients, giving high amounts of oxygen can actually be harmful, as it eliminates the drive to breathe and can actually cause breathing failure. But, it is hard to know who these patients are.

In brief: Sort of
In a small proportion of patients with emphysema, the lungs are so damaged that the body actually depends on the low oxygen levels to drive breathing.
In these patients, giving high amounts of oxygen can actually be harmful, as it eliminates the drive to breathe and can actually cause breathing failure. But, it is hard to know who these patients are.
Dr. Hesham Hassaballa
Dr. Hesham Hassaballa
Thank
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Dr. Aaron Milstone
Board Certified, Internal Medicine - Pulmonology
23 years in practice
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