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Oxygen Dependent?


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#1 Neva

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 02:39 PM

I work with a lady that had a bad, bad case of pneumonia a couple of months ago. This is when she found out she had mild COPD. After being released from the hospital she had to use oxygen 24/7 for a little while and then gradually she used it only with exertion. Now she uses it just sometimes. Her parking spot is a good walk from the building where we work. She just told me she has to stop and rest 2 or 3 times without her oxygen and sometimes more on hot days. I asked her why she doesn't use her oxygen anymore and she said her doctor told her that he didn't want her to get dependent on it. Can you do that? I thought either you need it or you don't. He said if she continued to use oxygen then her lungs wouldn't get stronger and would actually get weaker. Please advise.
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and suddenly you are doing the impossible.

#2 Darrell

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 03:06 PM

That doc must be out of the stone age. Most people who use O2 continue because they need it leading to the myth that people become dependent on it. If she is having that much difficulty she most likely needs the O2 but you only know that from checking her sats. She should see a pulmo and get appropriate diagnosis and care. Another option that would help with the immediate question is to get a handicapped parking permit, temp or permanent. But that doesn't address he breathing problem.
Darrell

#3 LoganLarry

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 04:00 PM

View PostDarrell, on 21 June 2011 - 03:06 PM, said:

That doc must be out of the stone age. Most people who use O2 continue because they need it leading to the myth that people become dependent on it. If she is having that much difficulty she most likely needs the O2 but you only know that from checking her sats. She should see a pulmo and get appropriate diagnosis and care. Another option that would help with the immediate question is to get a handicapped parking permit, temp or permanent. But that doesn't address he breathing problem.
Darrell


You are all over it Darrell.....you do not get "dependent" on O2 by using it. Lung strength has little correlation with hypoxia. Weak lungs can lead to hypoxia but adequate oxygen levels does not lead to weak lungs.
A Pulmo will evaluate and provide oxygen therapy to meet this persons needs. Run to a physician who understands oxygen therapy.Someone who will provide it, but provide it in a manner that assures adequate oxygenation. There is no excuse for someone suffering due to oxygen deprivation.

I am trying to use my inside voice on this one. I will defer to Sandy & Jane, rather than start a full rant.
Larry

#4 Neva

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 06:00 PM

Thanks Guys! This is what I told her but I have heard other people tell me that their doc's have said the same thing...... I also told her to use her pulse ox to measure her sats as she is walking in from the parking building. I also told her to hold the hand that she has the pulse ox on to her chest as though she were saying the pledge of allegiance to keep the pulse ox steady and get a good reading.
Take Extra Good Care,
Neva
Start by doing what's necessary, then what's possible
and suddenly you are doing the impossible.

#5 Jane M. Martin

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 06:39 PM



Boy oh boy.....Neva, thanks for bringing this up! Obviously there is a lot of bad information flying around out there. I totally agree with Larry and Darrell. (Just one Darrell, a very articulate one at that and not anything like the ones on the old Newhart Show...but anyway...) This lady has to find a doc who understands oxygen and hypoxia (low oxygen level) and counsels her on how to stay at an oxygen level that is safe.

I've been there when a patient has asked the pulmonary specialist in our town about becoming dependent on oxygen. He starts by saying, "Well, yes, we're all dependent on oxygen, and we have been since the moment we were born. We all need it to live, so you can't worry about being dependent on it." Then he goes on to talk more about how if you're low on oxygen, you should use it!

I can't see very far. My eyes need glasses to help me see. If I go without them I'm not going to get any better. I'm just going to strain my eyes and probably just get worse. Use what you need to stay healthy. If your oxygen saturation is below 88, your brain and your heart are not getting adequate oxygen. You don't want to go around with a brain and a heart (not to mention other major organs) that are deprived of oxygen.

Here's a link to our Basic page. Just scroll down to "O" where you will find two really good documents on oxygen with the wise words of top docs. Oxygen Q & A and Your Top Ten Oxygen Questions - Answered.

Thanks again, Neva, for reminding us that there is a lot of misinformation out there. I hope this lady gets the right help very soon!

Jane.
:P

#6 craigrrt

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 10:11 PM

This physician probably uses terms like, "pulmonary toilet", "Jet Nebulizer", and uses Terbutiline as a bronchodilator. Everyone here is right on. We can no more get dependent upon oxygen than we can get depenedent upon water. Oxygen is not a vitamin that strengthens the lungs. Oxygen is part of respiration, not ventilation. The lungs themselves are not actively involved in ventilation. This is done by the muscles like the diaphragms and the intercostals. In those who suffer from COPD, these muscles weaken due to disease progress and poor nutrition. Oxygen diffusion is dependent upon the alveolar/capillary bed. If this is damaged as in diseases like emphysema, then oxygen will not diffuse normally and often supplemental oxygen is needed.

I believe at one time there may have been a school of thought that held this belief about supplemntal oxygen. Sadly, at one time many thought that wearing head dresses would overheat the brain, and feeling the bumps on one's head can identify character traits. Sometimes physicians get trapped in tradition, not science. This lady does need to see a pulmonologist.

#7 Sandy W

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 05:07 AM

View Postcraigrrt, on 21 June 2011 - 10:11 PM, said:

This physician probably uses terms like, "pulmonary toilet", "Jet Nebulizer", and uses Terbutiline as a bronchodilator. Everyone here is right on. We can no more get dependent upon oxygen than we can get depenedent upon water. Oxygen is not a vitamin that strengthens the lungs. Oxygen is part of respiration, not ventilation. The lungs themselves are not actively involved in ventilation. This is done by the muscles like the diaphragms and the intercostals. In those who suffer from COPD, these muscles weaken due to disease progress and poor nutrition. Oxygen diffusion is dependent upon the alveolar/capillary bed. If this is damaged as in diseases like emphysema, then oxygen will not diffuse normally and often supplemental oxygen is needed.

I believe at one time there may have been a school of thought that held this belief about supplemntal oxygen. Sadly, at one time many thought that wearing head dresses would overheat the brain, and feeling the bumps on one's head can identify character traits. Sometimes physicians get trapped in tradition, not science. This lady does need to see a pulmonologist.

Sandy W RRT

#8 Sandy W

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 05:13 AM

Morning....

I just saw the conversation going around...and totally agree with everyone. You are dependent on oxygen from birth just as water and food and so on. That is what we tell our PR patients to ease the newcomers minds that this is a good thing that you have the opportunity to have portable oxygen to maintain your activities as opposed to years ago when people had COPD and debiltating diseases they just sat and became weaker.

So yes if your O2 sats are low you "need" oxygen and if you want to call it "dependent" then like we said ..we all are. We need certain levels to maintain our brains our heats our kidneys everything needs oxygen to work. You definitely need to get your friend to a good pulmonologist and maybe even have her join the "club". It may help her to chat with others and see what everyone else is doing.

Hope this helps!
Sandy
Sandy W RRT

#9 Neva

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    I do volunteer work for the American Lung Association, the Alpha-1 Assocation and the Alpha-1 Foundation. I also have a support group for people with Alpha-1 in the state of WV.

Posted 22 June 2011 - 10:55 AM

Thanks everybody. I have given her the info to join us all here. I think it could be very beneficial for her. She's just had a lot on her plate right now. Her work is the busiest right now, she has had some family issues plus she's just not felt well. She has said that she has learned more from me than anyone else. I had to educate her about a spacer to use with her inhaler. I think that anyone that is prescribed and inhaler should automatically get a spacer with it and also shown how to use both. They should also give them an instruction sheet to take home as well. Frankly I think this is quite sad. I don't care to help someone at all but the fact is they should be getting this info from medical professionals. Okay, getting off my soapbox now......
Take Extra Good Care,
Neva
Start by doing what's necessary, then what's possible
and suddenly you are doing the impossible.

#10 Jane M. Martin

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 12:15 PM

Neva, you're absolutely right that patients should receive this information from their own health care professionals, but sadly, many times they don't.

I'm tempted to say, Neva, that you missed your calling -- that you should have gone into the medical field as a profession. However, I don't think you really did miss your calling at all. You're helping many people now just by what you're doing here!

And we all thank you!

Jane.
:P





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