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Low Oxygen and Depression/Confusion

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Old 02-14-2009, 01:38 PM   #1
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Bardda1 HB User
Low Oxygen and Depression/Confusion

Three years ago my 61 year old husband was diagnosed with COPD. He was put on Advair and Spiriva and then this past December they had him sleep for two nights with an oxygen sensor to determine his sleeping oxygen levels. They determined that his levels were dangerously low and he now has an oxygen concentrator that he is supposed to sleep with, in addition to any time of the day he feels he needs it.
Some nights he will take the oxygen tubing off in his sleep without realizing it. On these days when I wake up and see he doesn't have it on, I notice that he sounds like someone who is drowning and I have a hard time waking him up. When he does finally wake up he talks gibberish and seems confused, sometimes for an hour or more.
What I am wondering is, can lack of adequate oxygen cause brain disfunction and can it cause irreversible damage?

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Old 02-14-2009, 04:38 PM   #2
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Ft. Collins, CO
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hypatia HB Userhypatia HB User
Re: Low Oxygen and Depression/Confusion

In addition to depression/confusion due to low oxygen saturation, it can also cause damage to all organs, particularly the heart and can result in right-sided heart failure (cor pulmonale).

To avoid the cannula coming off during sleep, your husband could push the slider up to his chin to keep it secure.

Most of us with COPD who need 02 for sleep also need it for exercise and activity. You might search 'pulse oximeter' for an inexpensive pulse oximeter which will measure his 02 levels during the day. It's virtually impossible to tell if one's saturation level is adequate (above 88) by the way we feel. Has he had a 6-minute walk test to measure how low his 02 drops? Hopefully he is under the care of a pulmonologist.

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