British Lung Foundation
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Oxygen Level

Had an appointment with the Respiratory Dept at St. Thomas today. It's only the 2nd time I've been monitored, the last time was about 6 years ago, then it was established that my oxygen level dropped after walking for 6 minutes from 98 to 82, but as soon as I stopped walking it reverted back to normal. This time, after walking for 6 minutes it dropped from 96 down to 77, but returned to 95 - shock horror. They wanted me to have oxygen at home for when I go out, but while I can get by without it I will do so, even if I have to stop more often. Any advice!

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JLC72, you need oxygen when you are doing anything such as walking, period. Get it and use it , or you will continually be damaging your heart and brain cells. With only best Wishes, judg69

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You need supplementary oxygen to maintain the health of other organs. If the other organs , heart etc, are not getting enough oxygen when you put pressure on them then they could go into failure mode.

Yes, you can get by without it but your are in serious danger of shortening your life for the sake of pride.

Supplementary oxygen has been suggested to you for a reason. It's your health you are playing with !

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You really should use it if advised as by doing so your also protecting other organs from being deprived of oxygen your heart in particular. You will soon get use to it just as I did

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Hi

Ambulitory oxygen therapy is not to be feared or ignored. It’s only extra medication. Mine was prescribed when my sats dropped to 83 on excertion. Dropping to 77 on a regular basis is not good, and will diminish your walking abilities.

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I’m sorry to butt in on this post. My oxygen levels sat on air are 95 but drop to 83-87 on exertion (measured myself on a walk). When I questioned my GP he said I didn’t need ambulatory oxygen or to do anything (just keep exercising) as everyone’s oxygen level can drop this low for instance when flying long haul for hours or walking at altitude (which I did years ago and remember the feeling). He said until my resting levels were 92 it didn’t warrant action. Is this right? I don’t want to do myself harm.

Thanks folks.

Jo

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Hi

As GPs no longer prescribe oxygen therapy, I would speak with your respitory team at local hospital. Or ask your GP for a referral. They would not allow a pulmonary rehabilitation course with sats at 83/87. Not without Ambulitory oxygen.

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Thanks I first saw a respiratory consultant on 30 November and next see them 16 April that’s partly why I asked to make sure I ask the right question when I get my rare audience. It’s complicated as I have heart rhythm problems and pulmonary hypertension from high left side heart pressure. They did some tests CTPA HRCT VQ overnight oximetry Pulmonary function tests gas exchange arterial gas from ear. They have said I had mosaic accentuation (?) indirectly suggesting small airway disease in a letter but don’t know what this means or if it’s the effect of the PH. They asked me to go for a 6 minute walk test last week but my heart has gone into a fast flutter ranging from 95-180 bpm depending on how much is conducting to my ventricles and didn’t think it would be the right thing to do at the moment or typical. It might all have to wait for the pacemaker and cardioversion but if I miss my chance to ask the question it might be another 6 months before I see someone. I’m currently picking my way through a minefield of confounding conditions - the medics convinced it’s all my heart but not sure it’s not started on my lungs now thanks to the PH.

Thanks for your input I need help to challenge the being told it’s ok at times. I don’t feel very ok at the moment on all fronts.

Jo

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Why not ring the BLF team before your appointment? They are excellent at talking things through and suggesting the questions you can ask. 03000 030 555 during office hours.

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Thank you I will Jo

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Any help is welcomed .I f it eases the problem overall make use of it as it will be to your benefit

Dan.

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Sorry to high jack the post but reading this I wonder whether it is worth having an oxygen monitor. They are about £17 on Amazon. Until I read this post I did not realise that you could damage your heart etc by not having enough oxygen. Thanks for any advice.

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I am on Oxygen 15/24 and my sats drop terribly so to be sure I got a finger pulse reader and it was awful so now I use oxygen when I need to move about and overnight but not above 15. Don't let yourself get paranoid with it though and use it all day every day x

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I've got one and they are a good guide as to what is going on!

Oxygen nurse did ear test whilst l was confined to bed with viral influenza recently. Said gases 93-95 at rest.

Put thingy on finger walked to bathroom found says dipped to 65%!

Soon changed her mind.....

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Thanks janice01

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Thanks very much. x

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When I went for my ambulatory 6 min walk test the respiratory nurse decided before I even did the walk test that I would be going on oxygen as it was 87 ...So that isn't too low but I was put on it ... now I don't know all the facts but what I will say is when the docs/ respiratory nurses check your sats it's for a few seconds once every few months so that is impossible to know your true readings and that's why it's important to write everything down ... do you not feel blurry eyed or not quite right when your oxygen drops so low as my body lets me know ...I'm on o2 24hours a day and it's helped me as without it i prob wouldn't be here ...get a 2nd opinion if needed but i really think you should consider going on it as like others have said their sats where ok then walked and it dropped below 70 ... it is not bad for you only if not used correctly just like any meds ... ...your main reason is the strain on your other organs so next time you see the consultant just have all the questions ready to ask and don't be afraid to ask as it's your body and well being xx take care oh obviously again I don't know all your history so just sharing what I know obviously there may be factors why you don't need to go on 02

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No I don't feel anything, that's the point. When I saw the ambulatory assistant she tested my oxygen level and it was 97. I did the 6 minute walk which I did rather quickly without stopping and I didn't feel out of breath and when I was asked to stop my 02 level was tested and it had dropped quite low to 77, I sat down and within seconds it had gone up to 95. I have an appointment at Pulmonary Rehab in a few weeks and I was told that if I needed oxygen they had it there. I never feel light headed and I've heard of people getting terrible headaches and I can honestly say that I have never experienced this. In the past i was given a tape to wear in bed which recorded my breathing and I was told that I did stop breathing now and then but I wasn't given anything for it. I was told to lose weight and sleep higher and that's all.

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I agree with the others. You are playing with a fire that can't be put out.

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Hi 👋 I need it and have one in my car and carry it over my shoulder it’s light 💡 and thankful I got it with me sometime s take it if you’re offered it. 🤭

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Oh and obviously being out of breath or not will not decide if you get oxygen therapy or not ...as it is about your blood rather than your breathing although some people say it has helped their shortness of breath but it doesn't help me whatsoever but my breathing is very very bad now ....your sats did drop an awful lot whilst your are mobile but I wonder if because it came straight back up to normal again you think you will be fine without it ...please don't think that ...I got told all kinds of rubbish about oxygen being bad for me and will get bad headaches etc etc but none of it has happened it's just been a godsend to me ...take care

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You certainly don't need to be out of breath to be short of oxygen. I recently had arterial oxygen of 7.2 after sitting for an hour waiting for a doctor. Hence me now being on 15 hours a day oxygen. You soon get used to ambulatory oxygen, nobody takes a scrap of notice, and it works really well, b&a is now doable!

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