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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Low oxygen levels, warning signs to look for


All patients who have been prescribed with additional oxygen, which is provided either through oxygen tanks or oxygen concentrators, have to adjust their lives to their new reality. This implies both the effects on lifestyle and monitoring their oxygen intake.  In a reasonably short period of time patients who must have supplemental oxygen become experts in the use of their oxygen units.  
There is a risk however that when the patient, or their caretaker, is on "automatic pilot" their concentration lapses and it could be that the oxygen supply is not as it should be.  Setting things up automatically could raise the risk of lack of oxygen as concentration levels are down.  The lack of oxygen has important side effects and one of these is that concentration and awareness drops off and this means the person suffering a lack of oxygen doesn't realize it. A reduced oxygen flow can be caused by various things, such as a twist in the tube, a problem with the flow valve or other simple things.
Pass the word to those who are close to you and share the warning signs of a lack of oxygen; and for those who have someone close, a relative or friend, who is dependant on oxygen, be observant.Make sure you and those near you can recognize the lack of oxygen signs so as to react accordingly.  Pulse oximeters are a great checking tool if you suspect a lack of oxygen.
6 Signs of lack of Oxygen.
  1. A physical sign can be a bluish color on the lips or fingernails.
  2. During speech another sign can be slurred words and incoherent sentences.
  3. Headaches can result form a lack of oxygen.
  4. Feeling drowsy and having trouble staying awake.
  5. If you noice irregular breathing, shortness of breath and/or shallow breathing, this could be a sign of lack of oxygen.
  6. A feeling of anxiety.
These can be warning signs of a lack of oxygen and therefore the next step is to confirm or deny this.  The most immediately effective method is to read the oxygen saturation levels with a pulse oximeter.If you or someone near you is on supplemental oxygen, make sure to pass on this knowledge.
It doesn't matter if this causes a few false emergencies - just one correct reaction will be worth it. Lack of oxygen is bad news and if you or someone near you is not getting enough a quick reaction from someone close by with surely help.


Read more: http://www.articlesbase.com/diseases-and-conditions-articles/6-signs-of-lack-of-oxygen-in-copd-patients-1020574.html#ixzz1UYFzDfVy 
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