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: 31166
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 5 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 5 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 5 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 5 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 and 5 other Health Specialists are ready to help you