about Sat falling low

Good Morning to all,,,, is anyone on her have EMPYSEMA and is on Oxygen 24/7...I am on 24/7 , when sleeping and sitting on 3L and my Oxygen level stay around 91,but the minute i get up and walk ,i drop to 59 Sat,,, i want to know if i doo this right ,,,I sit down and start Lip breathing ,and about 8 minutes i be back to normal 91 or 93 , my Doctor told me never go over 93 with Empyhsema , but when i drop like that is scarry , is it ok when it comes back up very fast , I don't hurt any of my organs . i always can bring it up with Lip breathing in 7 to 8 minutes , please tell me thank you have a wonderful sunday and God Bless all of you

22 Replies

  • Sorry no-one has answered you, perhaps our members have been out enjoying the sunshine today. I can't help with your question partly because I am not on oxygen nor have my SATS dropped that low before. I would imagine the advice from others would be to contact your doctor or respiratory team first thing in the morning but in the meantime the pursed lip breathing is doing the trick albeit not very quickly. Take care xx

  • So sorry don't like to be a pain , but i have so many Question ,and I understand people don't live on here, and I wish i could go out and enjoy the sunshine ,but i make 30 feet , there it goes my breathing ,,so sorry to wrote that question , why nobody answer ,,forgive me ,,I deleted that question ,

  • No need to apologise at all :) xx It was a valid question - yesterday was one of those really quiet days on the forum, not the usual amount of people who seem to be about but glad you have some answers now and just hope they are of some help to you. xx

  • Renate stay calm and practise yer breathing techniques, dont worry as scrobbitty as said, the weather hear as been ok so most members try to get out whenever thay can,ive pm a member and he will respond to ya,as other memberss will in due time, stay on the line,xxx and dont worry,

  • Germany, That would be scary to have your oxygen levels drop so low. I'm on oxygen only when I move around. I never had my oxygen levels fall that low. You need to talk to your doctor to find out what's going on. Why did your doctor tell you that your ox levels should never go above 93? I never heard that before. Take care !!

  • read this ,,,is diffrent with some people ,,,,,,,,,,,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.

  • Yes, here in England the weather has been terrible but at last we have a lovely weekend so we get out in the garden or see family or have an outing.

    I'm sorry you haven't had an answer. I'm no help either as I'm not on oxygen.

    I do know though that you need to get your sats up if you can. I do it by pursed lip breathing when I'm unwell or in winter months.

    I wish you all the best and as Twice says, try to stay calm. P

  • I too am on oxygen a min of 15 hours a day.including CPAP.my sats can drop to the low 70s when moving around,I sit and do pursed lip breathing and my sats usually return in about 2 minutes,so certainly carry on with that.i would of thought the length of time it's taking you sounds a bit long,as others have said I would seek some medical advice.

    Like you I have Also been told that having my sats to high is not good.my respiratory nurse and consultant advices my sats should sit in between 88-93. That's the figures I aim for.

    Good luck.


  • Hi I don't like the sound of your stats dropping so low, something doesn't seem right here. Make sure you get this checked out with your doctor asap. x

  • Hi. I am another person who cannot understand the comment that "You should never have your SAT go above 93%. Although I have very severe Emphysema I am not on oxygen, but my SAT is typically around 97-98% at rest. Yes it does fall quite significantly on exertion - sometimes to as low as 87% but usually returns to 90+ in a minute or two. I was ask you doctor for clarification of his comment. Stay well. Martin

  • Gosh Martin, you are very lucky to have SATS of 97-98 at rest with severe Emphysema, even dropping to 87 is much better than mine!!!

    As I mentioned in another post on this thread, my resting SATS are usually about 92 but can drop to 88. Even with my Oxygen in use for activities my SATS sometimes still drop low, often into the 70's if the activity is just that little bit too strenuous. I can get them back up to normal within a couple of minutes though.

    It's weird the way each person has different symptoms etc when at the same stage of Emphysema. Different bodies = different ways for this illness maybe.


  • Hello germany do contact your medical team today to get the help and advise you need. Anxiety will make your sats and breathing worse. I know as I am a very anxious person by nature. Everyone on here has given you good advise but you do need to see your Medical Team for them to help and reassure you. Please let us know how you are.

  • My Doctor knows i fall that low , i been last month in the Hospital cause of that , but i got home the same happen again , people tell me a i walk to fast , i need to slow down , how slow is slow

  • Hi Germany, I am on oxygen too, when I was extremely ill my levels went down to 79 and that was scary I agree with all the above please contact your Medical Team .

    Take care.

    polly xx

  • Hello Germany sorry you are having problems. Horrible disease isn't it. The reason you must not go over 93 is to keep your carbon dioxide levels at an acceptable level. As for dropping to 59 sat level I doubt very much whether you would be alert enough to even take your sat level. Do check with GP. I am on oxygen 24/7 and drop to low 80's on exertion but I don't read them that often only when I'm particularly worried. Try and relax more . All the best Katie

  • hello Mummywummy ,,,this is the part i don't understand ,when i drop to 59 ,i don't feel dizzy or i can't think , is just like somebody chocked the live out of me , i breath then like a fish out my mouth ,,is so scarry hun ,,,and ,and when somebody in that moment tell me ,, breath true your nose and exhale true your mouth ,,I CANT ,, I get so mad ,now i don't try to exert myself , when i feel is to much i am doing ,i sit down and lip breath ,

  • anesthesiaweb.org/hypoxia.php

    Quote: . . .

    Moderate hypoxia (SpO2 = 80-60%):

    Moderate hypoxia affects the functioning of the brain and the senses, removes sensations of pain or discomfort, causes people to feel calm, sometimes even joyful, as well as arousing feelings of serene unconcern or indifference. Supplementary motor cortex malfunction results in a lack of desire to move, so people usually do not move. A degree of primary motor cortex malfunction causes muscle weakness, so that when some people do try to move, they discover that voluntary movement is difficult and requires intense effort. More severe degrees of moderate hypoxia may also induce life-review, or out-of-body experiences.

    Severe hypoxia (SpO2 = 60-40%):

    Severe hypoxia induces all the effects of moderate hypoxia, except that the degree of brain malfunction is more extreme. Supplementary and primary motor cortex malfunction are such that people do not even think of moving, and when a few people do try to move, they discover they are totally paralyzed. And because severely oxygen starved people do not move, they appear unconscious even though they are often still conscious.

    . . .

  • Stillruckin,

    Hypoxia is actually very rare. The reason SATs should stay around the 92 mark for the majority of people is that if SATs are kept higher by increasing oxygen your lungs will eventually stop working as hard as they can and they will become even less efficient. Per my husband's consultant.

  • I quoted the piece on the effects of hypoxia because germany stated that her spo2 drops to 59% . . .

  • that will teach me not to read so quickly :-)

  • Germany,

    Most people are told to increase the level of oxygen when they are active. For example, my husband is on 2L when at rest and when he is active (walking, dressing, shower, etc.) he needs to increase his oxygen to 6L. He could not function on 2L walking, but at rest he is fine. I'd ask your doctor what level of oxygen you should be on when you are physically active.

  • I use Ambulatory Oxygen so only when I am up and about doing something.

    My SATS at rest are usually around 92 nowadays, but do sometimes dip into the 80's. Even with my oxygen on at 5litres (my prescribed dosage), my SATS still often drop when I am doing anything active - as low as 74 at times, but I can get them back up to about 92 within a few minutes of rest. My Dr and Consultant both know this.

    Have you not been instructed to increase your level of Oxygen when you are ambulatory Germany?

    I would do as others have advised and have a chat with your Dr so you can have everything fully explained to you.

    Take care.


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