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oxygen level dropped to 68%

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August the 1st I went into the local ER and was admitted with Pneumonia. I was put on Oxygen. About 3 days later I was sent to the ICU of another hospital because my Oxygen level dropped to 68%. After a few days my doctor released me and put me on Oxygen at home. My Oxygen level was 83% without the oxygen.

Today I saw a lung specialist, they done a breathing test on me and told me my lungs were at 40% capacity and that I no longer needed to use the Oxygen at home. What exactly does having 40% lung capacity mean, and is it pretty good, or is it bad?
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replied September 9th, 2008
Experienced User
Would like to know your age range...but, oxygen levels NEED to be at 90% or greater. 68% is extremely low and I assume you were very ill at the time. The 83% without 02 is LOW as well. I would strongly encourage you to request from your doctor a home test to check your oxygen levels at night while sleeping. Did the doctor/nurse check your 02 sat while you were in the office? They should check it while you are sitting in a chair and while you walk up and down the hallway-just to be sure. It may be at this point you only need the 02 while sleeping and that is why I suggested the over night oximetry test. You wear a little probe on your finger while sleeping (in your own home) and it records your levels all night. Your doctor should know of an oxygen company that can provide you with the device to check you while sleeping. It does require a doctors order. Please let me know. Appropriate oxygen levels are very vital and important to your overall health. Low oxygen levels make your heart work hard-plus it is not good for your other vital organs. Better safe than sorry. Again, please keep me posted.

Take care!

~Gee
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replied September 10th, 2008
Hey,

I'm 22 years old. Before the doctor told me I no longer needed to use the Oxygen he did do the sat test with me sitting in a chair using the oxygen (it was 98%), he had me take the Oxygen off and retested it with me sitting (it was 96%). When I see the doctor again I will talk to him about the over night oximetry test. The Oxygen supplier company hasn't picked up the Oxygen machine or tanks yet, and I have been using it some. What are the symptoms of having a low O2 sat? Thanks for replying.
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replied September 11th, 2008
Experienced User
O2
Hi-
The symptoms of low 02 sat is having low energy during the day, headaches when you first awaken, it can affect your memory too. These are some of the physical things you may or may not experience. I am curious how much time had passed when you took the 02 off and they tested you at 96%??? Ideally to get a true reading some time should have passed before putting the pulse ox back on your finger (due to the supplemental 02 would have still been in your body-does that make sense?) Aside from the physical symptoms you may experience from having low sats while sleeping-or any time-is the work load this puts on your heart. Your heart does beat and work harder/faster when the levels drop.
Most likely if you are otherwise healthy, with no previous history of respiratory problems you don't need the oxygen-or wont need it much longer. I would still request an over night oximeter study before giving up your equipment. How are you breathing during the day? Do you get short of breath with activity?
Continue taking care of yourself-I am glad that you are feeling better. Keep me posted as to your progress!

Take care-Gee
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