How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Chip Your Own Question
Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 26383
Experience:  Over 20 yrs of Family Practice
Type Your Health Question Here...
Dr. Chip is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

to get a pulse oximetry on room air

This answer was rated:

My husband complained of shortness of breath. He was sent to get a pulse oximetry on room air. Results showed 80% sat. Dr. was notified and he requested the test be repeated the next day with the same result. (Patient was already using supplmental oxygen.) I told Dr. that my husband seemed to be unconscious most of the time (I could not arouse him), when he was awake, he constantly dropped and spilled things, and he was just sick acting. Patient was sent home. Three days later, my husband was taken to the ER because he couldn't breathe and started having seizures. Dr. said his problems were sudden onset and could not have been diagnosed three days earlier when he was in the doctor's office. He spent 50 days in the hospital, about 40 of them on a ventilator. Could he have been diagnosed earlier than his ER visit based on his test results and symptoms?
Hi--sorry to hear about all that. His age and what diagnosis is there for his lung condition before this happened? What was the doctor saying were the problems that could not have been suspected three days earlier?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

July 12, 2010, my husband went to doctor with complaints of a sinus infection and shortness of breath. Dr. gave orders for pulse oximetry. Due to my husband's inability to be woke up most of the time, I could not get him to get test done until July 28. Results showed 80% sats. Dr. was notified and he wanted the test repeated the next day and then wanted us to come to his office. Repeated test showed 80% on room air (I already had my husband using my oxygen concentrator because I didn't know what else to do). On July 29, dr. order an oxygen concentrator for my husband to use. He would not give him antibiotics for sinus infection until he had a series of CT scans done to rule out a mass or tumor ???? Three days later, my husband work me up at 3:00 a.m. flopping around on the bed. I took him to ER where he started seizing and GCS was 8. When air flighted to a bigger hospital, they thought he might have meningitis. He was septic and in multi-organ failure.


His now former doctor said that my husband's hypoxia was sudden onset and could not have been diagnosed on July 12, 28 or 29. For my own peace of mind, I just want to know if that's true?


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

My husband was 64 years old at the time.


The doctors at the bigger hospital thought he might have meningitis due to his sepsis. He was also in multi-organ failure.


But the doctor had two documented results of 80% saturation? And at that time no chest x-ray, EKG, or pulmonary testing was ordered?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
He ordered a chest x-ray and a doppler but never really went over the results. He had them done on July 28. On July 29, I went with my husband to tell him how bad off Tom was and that he was using my oxygen (I have a paralyzed left hemi-diagraphm but only use it at nite and my pulmonologist had told me it was ok to go without supplemental oxygen if I was out of town, etc.). I told him about his being practically comatose most of the time, his inability to hold on to anything, his confusion when he seemed to be awake, etc. All he did that day was order Tom his own supplemental oxygen. And yes, he had two documented results of 80% sats. On the 29th, the RT did not want Tom to leave without taking an oxygen tank with him but the dr. said it would be ok since his office was right across the street.
OK--just one other question--was it ever determined as to why his sats were so low?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No one has ever given us a reason. His former doctor said he was just too overweight. The pulmonologist in the Long Term Acute Care center said he just had a "perfect storm" happen that wouldn't happen again. He did have a sleep study done and is now using bi-pap (11/7 settings). An admitting pulmonologist in the bigger hospital just said he had been "very, very sick for a long time." I don't know if his sinus infection his former doctor wouldn't treat turned septic and that caused the other problems or if the other problems came first.

OK. Let's put this simply--he should have been admitted to the hospital with sats like that no matter the cause. Whether he became septic is something I can't determine here, but I think he had had a pulmonary condition long before the sinus problem. It sounds as though his doctor didn't take proper precautions at the first sign of a major problem.
Dr. Chip, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 26383
Experience: Over 20 yrs of Family Practice
Dr. Chip and 3 other Health Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
< Previous | Next >
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
  • Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion. Kevin Beaverton, OR
  • Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
    I feel better already! Thank you.
    Elanor Tracy, CA
  • Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem. Julie Lockesburg, AR
  • You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions. John and Stefanie Tucson, AZ
  • I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!! Janet V Phoenix, AZ

Meet The Experts:

  • Family Physician

    Family Physician

    Doctor (MD)

    Satisfied Customers:

    Emergency Medicine and Family Practice for over 26 years
< Last | Next >
  • Family Physician's Avatar

    Family Physician

    Doctor (MD)

    Satisfied Customers:

    Emergency Medicine and Family Practice for over 26 years
  • Nurse Milli, RN's Avatar

    Nurse Milli, RN

    Nurse (RN)

    Satisfied Customers:

    20 years experience in many areas of Nursing. Both Hospital and Private Practice experience.
  • Dr. Ketch's Avatar

    Dr. Ketch


    Satisfied Customers:

    Medical Degree, Former Assistant Professor at School of Medicine at Yale University
  • Dr. Arun Phophalia's Avatar

    Dr. Arun Phophalia

    Doctor (MD)

    Satisfied Customers:

    MBBS, MS (General Surgery), Fellowship in Sports Medicine
  • A. Schuyler, NP's Avatar

    A. Schuyler, NP

    Nurse Practitioner

    Satisfied Customers:

    Board Certified NP, MS, RN. Private practice & hospitalist
  • Dr. Mark's Avatar

    Dr. Mark

    Doctor (MD)

    Satisfied Customers:

    U.S. Physician/Surgeon in Neurosurgery
  • Dr. Gupta's Avatar

    Dr. Gupta

    Doctor (MD)

    Satisfied Customers:

    Vastly experienced MD Physician with 19 years of experience.

Related Health Questions