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Intermittent desaturations during sleep - doc ordered 02 concentrator
RE: Intermittent desaturations during sleep - doc ordered 02 concentrator
I also experience desats.  BiPAP did work better for me better than CPAP.  I am now very compliant with BiPAP, but I still experience fatigue and daytime sleepiness.  I purchased the Wellue SleepU to monitor O2 sats.  The information has been enlightening, although I am unsure how to translate that into things I can do to prevent the desats.  If you are really concerned with desats, search  "chronic hypoxemic respiratory failure" on the Internet for some useful information.  That is my diagnosis in addition to sleep apnea.

Most nights I only spend a couple of minutes total under 90%.  I have experimented with the O2 flow between 1.5 and 2 l/m and I get good results at approximately 1.75 l/m.  One night we accidentally did not have the oxygen tube hooked up, and I spent about 1.5 hours below 90%, which tells me the O2 is definitely making a difference.  I like using an overnight monitoring device.  If nothing else, it alerts me to a potential problem with the O2 supply.  I use a Philips Simply Go for O2 when I travel, and I found I need to use a setting of 2 l/m with that device.  

I also use the SleepU sometimes during the day.  I have sporadic desats during the day usually no lower than 85% for a couple of minutes.   In the afternoons, I can get a little sleepy, and I found that I am desaturating more during those sleepy periods.  One day I desaturated during that sleep period to a low of 61% and was below 90% for over an hour.  If that happens again. I will lay down and use BiPAP with O2.  The SleepU can also be set to vibrate when O2 drops to a certain level.  For me, this serves as a reminder to take some deep breaths to get my O2 back up above 90.

I need to check my recent bloodwork to look at hemoglobin levels.  If it is below normal, I may start supplemental iron as it is a component of hemoglobin.  New drugs are being worked on to increase hemoglobin but have not been approved.  The hormone erythropoetin would increase it as it is used illegitimately by endurance athletes to boost O2 capacity.  I go to my primary care doc in early February, so I will discuss these options with him.  The unanswered question is why my O2 sats are dropping.  Treating the cause, if possible, would be the goal. 

As a final note, oxygen can cause health issues if you use too much.  Stick closely with the physician's Rx for liters per minute and when to use it.  Good luck, and Happy Holidays to all!
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