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[CPAP] Importance of spO2 levels?
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Numbat Offline

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Post: #1
Importance of spO2 levels?
Hi all.
My history is that I had severe apnea 20 years ago but had to stop wearing a mask because of sinus blockage and full face masks did not exist then. A recent sleep study gave an AHI of 54 and I am now trialling masks with a retailer. Data from Philips is discussed and passed on to me.
To me it seems that one of the most important records would be spO2 levels but the Philips data does not give this.
The reason I have come back to CPAP is because of strong warnings about damage to organs including the brain and heart.
I am at a loss to understand why more importance is not given to spO2 levels given the above. I bought a recorder with spO2 assistant before treatment and my graphs have gone from jagged lines extending to the low 70s and even a low 64 to a fairly level line above 90. I now use Sleepyhead data also when assessing the success of masks but spO2 seems the more useful tool.
Apologies for the length of this but are my thoughts way off base?
03-31-2014 10:11 PM
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trish6hundred Offline

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Machine: Resmed S9 AutoSet for Her
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Post: #2
RE: Importance of spO2 levels?
Hi Numbat,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
It's good to hear that you started using CPAP again, good luck on finding the right mask that works for you, as that is the most difficult part of this therapy.
Hang in there for more responses to your post.

trish6hundred
03-31-2014 10:25 PM
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c0reDump Offline

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Posts: 157
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Machine: ResMed S9 AutoSet
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Sex: Male
Location: TX

Post: #3
RE: Importance of spO2 levels?
Welcome

From my relatively limited experience to PAP, I think you are exactly right that it is all about the SpO2 (blood oxygen saturation). Some PAP machine have the capability to connect SpO2 sensors, and that data will be saved right along with the rest of the information that is collected.

SpO2 sensors aren't cheap though (~$250 just for the accessory for an S9 machine). So I make do with the other data available: AHI primarily. High AHI implies no breathing, no breathing implies desaturation (tanking SpO2).

You have the SpO2 sensor, so hats off to you! Well-done
03-31-2014 10:25 PM
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Numbat Offline

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Posts: 6
Joined: Mar 2014

Machine: Re star one
Mask Type: Full face mask
Mask Make & Model: Quattro
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CPAP Pressure: 4 to 12
CPAP Software: SleepyHead

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Sex: Male
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Post: #4
RE: Importance of spO2 levels?
(03-31-2014 10:25 PM)c0reDump Wrote:  Welcome

From my relatively limited experience to PAP, I think you are exactly right that it is all about the SpO2 (blood oxygen saturation). Some PAP machine have the capability to connect SpO2 sensors, and that data will be saved right along with the rest of the information that is collected.

SpO2 sensors aren't cheap though (~$250 just for the accessory for an S9 machine). So I make do with the other data available: AHI primarily. High AHI implies no breathing, no breathing implies desaturation (tanking SpO2).

You have the SpO2 sensor, so hats off to you! Well-done


Thank you for the reply. Yes it was a little expensive but for me worthwhile at AUD 143, $120 plus $13 GST plus $10 postage (because I was in a hurry). It is a CMS-50E OLED Fingertip Pulse Oximeter, runs on spO2 Assistant free software and does not have any wires.
It only holds one load of data at a time.
I understand that it can work with Sleepyhead but I have not tried that yet.
04-01-2014 01:07 AM
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PaulaO2 Offline
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Posts: 8,068
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Machine: S9 Autoset
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Location: western NC, USA

Post: #5
RE: Importance of spO2 levels?
The idea is that the lower the number of events, the better the oxygen levels. With a data capable machine, also checking oxygen levels is not overly necessary unless there is other health situations going on or, during the sleep study, severe drops in O2 were noted.

If a user does not have a data capable machine, then yes, an oximeter is an important, very important, piece of equipment. It is the only empirical way to tell if the treatment is working.

Once I got the Autoset, I've not bothered to check my nightly O2. I don't need to. I have no lung issues and my overnight blood O2 has never really dropped that low anyway.

Here is how to import data from the 50D into SleepyHead:
http://www.apneaboard.com/wiki/index.php...SleepyHead

Some of the information may be different because you have a different device but most of it should still apply. Please let us know if anything is different so we can update the wiki page.

This is the page on how to use the SpO2 software, but it sounds as if you already figured it out.
http://www.apneaboard.com/wiki/index.php?title=SpO2_software

PaulaO2
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


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04-01-2014 10:24 PM
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GreyParrot Offline

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Post: #6
RE: Importance of spO2 levels?
I purchased my pulse oximeter for 155.00. It is an important part
of treatment. I still wear mine at least 3 days per week even though
my AHI never exceeds 1.0 most of the time now. I had many desaturations at first, down to 80% now on a "bad night" 93%
is the lowest. It's the only way to tell if the CPAP is doing what it
is supposed to. I suppose after a few more months I'll just wear it
once a week unless I try to lower my pressure again. Then it will
be invaluable.
04-02-2014 08:18 AM
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Rhymer Offline

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Other Comments: Using chin strap. Can't keep mouth shut, even at night!

Sex: Male
Location: Texas

Post: #7
RE: Importance of spO2 levels?
I am not a doctor, but I would agree with the OP and add that I don't think the importance of O2 sat levels can be overemphasized. This may become even more important in light of the seemingly scattershot and/or lame-brained variety of sleep medicine some members seem to be encountering.

I once contracted pneumonia when I was staying in Colorado at about 8800 feet above sea level. I have experienced O2 sat levels in the seventies, when fully conscious and awake. Trust me, this is not something you want to be doing to your body on any regular basis.

I purchased a pulse oximeter shortly after going on apap, and am in the process of adjusting my treatment using the O2 sat information.

Health and a good rest!
04-03-2014 01:24 PM
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