British Lung Foundation
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Dangerous oxygen levels at sleep

Hi could anyone tell me what are really dangerous oxygen levels suppose to be at sleep ?

I’ve come out of hospital last week after a procedure went completely wrong 🙈and returned home with an oxygen concentrator and 7 portable bottles and also I’ve been offered a machine to fill the bottles . ( refused at the minute)

It’s all a little overwhelming and I do not want to be on oxygen 24/7 so I’ve only been putting the oxygen on when I really need it . The last 2 mornings I’ve woke up with no supplementary oxygen on and what are very low oxygen readings but then put on my oximeter and watched it climb from 69 to 85 within 3 minutes . I did not feel bad , normally if I go to low around 62 I start to shake but is this doing me any permanent damage ?

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Hi

Oxygen is like any other medicine, and should be taken/used as prescribed.

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85% and aboveNo evidence of impairment

65% and less impaired mental function on average

55% and less Loss of consciousness on average

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I’m really glad Stone you answered, i knew you if anyone would have the info you would . Is it possible for me to ask you for some advice in private ?

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Don't think you should be messing with your oxygen usage without consulting your doctor or respiratory nurse, it could be dangerous letting you Sats go so low and you will soon be able to cope with it overnight. I feel like I'm charging my batteries up with good medicine.

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I have lost consciousness 3 times so fat ie:type 2 respiratory failure when says dropped to low but also a known chronic retainer of co2 I’m now on Oxygen 24/7 and for the past 2 months Home NIV The Oxygen I can tolerate at 1ltr but the ventilator I am struggling to keep on for the time they want me on it 16 hours a day, please don’t ignore what your lung specialist are telling you as it gets really dangerous when your sats are so low, I have had a DNR on my hospital file the past 2 times I was admitted but here to tell the tale, you will get used to your oxygen over night eventually and might very well keep you alive,

I hope this helps you make the right choice.. breath easy

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Thanks for your reply ameliapoppy , they let me out of hospital on 3L at rest and up to 6-8 when moving . As they think I’m totally capable of judging my needs I can drop my concentrator down but not above 3L . I have been told to try to reduce my hours on oxygen as i told them my concerns with the dangers of being on oxygen 24/7 . This is the reason I’ve tried not using oxygen at night , my thinking being when asleep I won’t need as much oxygen 🙈. I’ve slept great either with or without supplementary oxygen and have my oxygen at hand ( already on ) and although not happy with a reading in the 60’s I recovered really quickly to get back to the mid 80’s . Hence my question , I’m a bit like you my health is down to my past which is totally self inflicted 40 a day for 38 years 🙈😂.

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I’m still trying to quit even with the state of my health I’m finding it difficult but if your oxygen levels drop further down you may not wake up one day. When I was first put on Oxygen I was sent home in 6 ltrs after a week I felt I couldn’t breath, I woke up 5 days later in hospital I’m now on 1 late but still ended up back in a further 2 times with respiratory failure my sats are on average 88 to 92 they are happy with that but they do fall down to the low 70s and it’s not good even taking little time to get them back up the drop is cause for concern.. I’ve learned from past experiences that I need to listen to my consultants as I always thought I knew best and I could manage this alone but no I’m now on a ventilator for 16 hours a day well I’m not actually up to 16 yet it’s sometimes unbearable to have it on overnight and most of the morning, I just wish they could find a cure, I know stopping smoking will help but I feel to stressed with it all so I hit the cigs that’s my release I guess wrong I know but we all have our vices.. all I’d say is try the oxygen over night then maybe you won’t need it whilst out and about, my fear was becoming dependent on it but I regretfully have, I panic if I’m out and I’m running low. Give your Oxygen a go over the night before you do more harm than good, we don’t really know if we are getting enough oxygen whilst sleeping because lack of it wouldn’t wake you it might just finish you off. The first time I slipped into a coma I was told if my children hadn’t of got up in the night they would have been to late in the morning and I wouldn’t be here now.. sorry for the long winded moan I don’t get out much 😂🙈

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Thanks for the comments any are good , I always take something from all comments .

Pre op my sats where 91/92 at rest then dropped to 85 on movement then dropped to 81 and was on oxygen if and when I thought I needed it . The staff have always been happy with how I control my oxygen needs and I know roughly what my sats are and normally go in how I feel .

My problem has got worse, I went into hospital to have some valves fitted and my lung collapsed in recovery resulting in a drain being fitted in an emergency preciedure in the recovery area 🙈. This resulted in me being in hospital for 12 days recovering but during the stay I was on oxygen nearly 24/7 at 3L which kept my levels at 89 . Initially when I took the oxygen off my levels went down to anything from 62-84 but on my last day ( last Thursday ) it settled down to 82/84 . So yet again this is a reason why I’m trying to come off oxygen as much as I Can especially at rest .

I am naturally a very active person , who is probably to confident and am trying to raise my FEV level ( 36.4 last time ) maybe I need to look at the bigger picture.

All the best with giving up smoking, just remember just say no to yourself sometimes . Not to have 1 a day is a start

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The valves did not work for you

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For me total disaster I’m afraid , had I know ( can only really blame myself for not fully researching it myself) what I know now I would have never had it done . My emphasyma is in the centre of my lung which can cause untold problems if something goes wrong ie n my case left sided pneumothorax post operatively in recovery which required chest drain insertion .

Which in lay mans terms means my lung collapsed due to a tear in my lung which was not picked up until I started to wake i the recovery area . Which resulted in me having a chest drain inserted on the bed in the recovery area . Two needles , knife then to cut a hole in my chest into the area between my lung and chest wall followed by a drain forced into that area the stitched up all done while I was awake and felt every bit of it .

Pre valves I was 91 % on no oxygen at rest now I’m on 3 L of oxygen at rest 24/7 with the doctors giving me nothing but doom and gloom

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my understanding is that under 88% is dangerous especially for a prolonged time also when sleeping your body needs oxygen to do repairs etc. so my advice would be to use the oxygen overnight and then if you wish use less hours in the day where you can keep an eye on your stats. but really you need expert advice - I personally would be worried if my stats read as yours overnight take care xxx

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Oh Dear, Phone BLF immediately and arrange for a respitory Nurse to visit you, I sleep with mine all night as this is how it has been prescribed to me since 2015,it doesn't bother my sleep, that takes 8 hours of the 16, which I can use during the day with my Mobile Oxygen, it is a Minimum of 16, I have had to use more hours (20) when poorly. I'm not on the same Ltrs as you , 3 when moving, and 1 when sleeping or sitting. I do remain active and wear a Pedometer every day to record my Steps. I also do my Sats every morning and average between 88 to 91. Please get your Meds right Rich1957, this is Vital for your on going Health. xxx

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Hi Hacienda are you having EBV fitted soon ?

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Yes Rich, 7th June. x

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What area of your lungs is your Emphysema ?

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Hi Rich, Bottom of both and having the Valves inserted to the bottom right, the left is too damaged . I'll know more when I'm admitted. xx

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Good I’m really glad , mine is in the centre and had you been the same I would have given you a few questions to ask . I had valves fitted and they have caused so many problems I can’t tell you ,not the valves themselves ( they are great ) but the complications the operation can cause that they don’t tell you about . But top or bottom the risks are negligible and I’m sure you will feel the benifit x

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Where did you have them done? I'm at City Nottingham for this, but I'm at QE Birmingham for Transplant x

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I’m in Leicester, so at Glenfield Hospital, Leicester. At which I also attend any trials at the research centre and have free MOTs 😉😂

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Thanks Hacienda and Undine for your comments and advice which I know make total sense , but I’m so pig headed I’ll probably only learn when I’m in a hospital bed 🙈😂😂. I do struggle being ill or people thinking I’m ill and always give my all in anything I do which can frighten people around me but I’m always calm and know when to stop all be it very close to being completely empty 😉

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