Hello and thank you for the Excellent question John.
Answers given are for informational purposes only and are not meant to replace an exam by an in-person.
I am Dr. Sohaib, a practicing Internal Medicine Specialist and i will do my best to help you today.
Brain of the patients with COPD are chronically exposed to low oxygen environment; and hence the respiratory drive (stimulus) is gradually shifted from "low oxygen tension" to "levels of Carbondioxide".
For a normal person, then respiratory drive is triggered by low oxygen levels in blood.
For a COPD patient, the respiratory drive is dependent upon carbondioxide levels, so it this is removed from the blood by supplying more/rapid oxygen, the respiratory stimulus is gone and patient's respiratory rate may fall abnormally which will lead to serious outcomes (like death) because patient wont be breathing in the oxygen you are giving.
I hope this clarifies :)
My goal is to provide you with Excellent Service - if satisfied with the response, Please do not forget to Rate my service as this is the only way i get credit for my time and expertise on your question.
If you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions.
thank you, XXXXX XXXXX you clarify the effect of giving sleeping pills/tranquilizers or turning O2 flowmeter up to high. thanks, j
Sleeping pills can reduce respiratory drive by their direct depressant effect on brain.
Giving high flow oxygen will remove Carbondioxide from blood through lungs, and low carbondioxide will make the things further worse.