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Old 08-02-2005, 07:42 AM   #1
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yetieater HB User
Is an oxygen concentrator suitable?

Hello everyone! Need some help sorting out how best to help my grandfather. A little background information:

He stopped smoking 10 years ago but has smoked for approximately 30 years, stopping at the age of 60. He was not a heavy smoker, on average 5 cigarettes a day.

He went through pneumonia ~30 years ago and never really got over the symptoms. However just a year ago some problems began to surface. His shortness of breath became more evident. Other symptoms include swelling in the feet, coughing up blood at times, and a dry morning cough.

My father suggested that my grandfather visit a doctor and get an examination. The doctor found that my grandfather's lungs had become "fibrous" and were not taking in as much oxygen as they should have been.

I've been doing some research on what could be the problem, even suggesting that asbestos could have scarred the inside of his lungs. He has had contact with asbestos before, however it was in small quantities and not for extended duration of time. This rules out mesothelioma, although it doesn't exclude the possibility of asbestosis. The doctor said that there were no cancerous growths in or around his lungs, though.

What I'd like to know is whether or not an oxygen concentrator is suitable for him. I know that he has trouble getting a good night's sleep at times, and I thought that low flow oxygen at night might help him breath easier.

I'd really appreciate some help! I'd like to know:

Is an oxygen concentrator suitable for my grandfather?
Are there any adverse effects of using an oxygen concentrator?
What could explain the "fibrous" nature of his lungs?
What might be the problem with my grandfather's lungs?

Thanks in advance to all!

 
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Old 08-04-2005, 06:15 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: North Central Pennsylvania
Posts: 815
valleygurl HB User
Re: Is an oxygen concentrator suitable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by yetieater
Hello everyone! Need some help sorting out how best to help my grandfather. A little background information:

He stopped smoking 10 years ago but has smoked for approximately 30 years, stopping at the age of 60. He was not a heavy smoker, on average 5 cigarettes a day.

He went through pneumonia ~30 years ago and never really got over the symptoms. However just a year ago some problems began to surface. His shortness of breath became more evident. Other symptoms include swelling in the feet, coughing up blood at times, and a dry morning cough.

My father suggested that my grandfather visit a doctor and get an examination. The doctor found that my grandfather's lungs had become "fibrous" and were not taking in as much oxygen as they should have been.

I've been doing some research on what could be the problem, even suggesting that asbestos could have scarred the inside of his lungs. He has had contact with asbestos before, however it was in small quantities and not for extended duration of time. This rules out mesothelioma, although it doesn't exclude the possibility of asbestosis. The doctor said that there were no cancerous growths in or around his lungs, though.

What I'd like to know is whether or not an oxygen concentrator is suitable for him. I know that he has trouble getting a good night's sleep at times, and I thought that low flow oxygen at night might help him breath easier.

I'd really appreciate some help! I'd like to know:

Is an oxygen concentrator suitable for my grandfather?
Are there any adverse effects of using an oxygen concentrator?
What could explain the "fibrous" nature of his lungs?
What might be the problem with my grandfather's lungs?

Thanks in advance to all!
Hi There, Sounds like it could be a possibility that your Grandfather could have residual scar tissue in his lungs from the pneaumonia that he had suffered. Seeing how your Grandfather has a bit of trouble breathing and has an issue with his lungs, did the doctor put your Grandfather on any type of medications? If so, what are the respiratory meds and how are they working for him?

Also, you had mentioned that he has edema in his feet. Has the doctor given him a diagnosis as to the cause of the edema? Is it related to his pulmonary status and does he have any cardiac issues?

Have you mentioned your interest in an oxygen concentrator for your Grandfather to his doctor? As in order to get an concentrator for him you will need a written script from his doctor.

To answer your questions:

From the details you have provided about your grandfathers' condition it sounds as if an oxygen concentrator could be an option for him and that he may benefit greatly from it.

Really the only adverse effect of the concentrator "could" be with him using the O2 and nasal cannulas would be the drying out of his mucous membranes in his nasal cavity. This is not serious and can often be alieviated with either a Saline Nasal Spray or a humidifier that attaches to the concentrator as well as the use of a freestanding humidifier.

As i mentioned previously in this post, his fibrous lungs could be a direct result of scar tissue from his previous pneauminia.

There can be a host of different disorders that can cause issues with the lungs. Given his history of the prior pneaumonia as well as his smoking (as minimal as it was) these can cause COPD. Has the doctor diagnosed him with COPD?

P.S. his coughing up blood could very well be a direct result of his dry cough causing an irritation that would cause him to cough up the blood. When he coughs up the blood is it bright red?

Hope i have helped some,
ValleyGurl

 
Old 08-07-2005, 02:15 AM   #3
Newbie
(male)
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 2
yetieater HB User
Re: Is an oxygen concentrator suitable?

valleygurl, thanks for the reply

We're going to have him get a checkup and he'll talk to the doctor abouan oxygen concentrator. Regarding respiratory medicine and the edema, he has not been given any medication. Will also talk to my dad and get him to convey this information across to my grandfather.

 
Old 08-07-2005, 03:49 PM   #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14
lohrewok HB User
Re: Is an oxygen concentrator suitable?

Just wanted to add that using oxygen in this way is considered a medical treatment. One side effect from using oxygen incorrectly is carbon dioxide buildup with can have life threatening consequances. He needs a doctor's Rx. before going on oxygen.

 
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