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The IDEAL SpO2 while sleeping?
Sleep Apnea gave me SpO2 that ran from 95% down to 70% at night.
Atrial Fibrillation added to the above gave me more consistent desats.
Apnea and aFib resolved and now SpO2 runs 100% all night and 90% plus all day... usually in the 95% range.

Question: What is the ideal SpO2 for a human being during sleep? I'd like to believe that it is in the 95% range.... as I titrate my infused O2 at night down from 4L/M (minimal) I will discover where I come to sit during the night in REM/L4 sleep.

Anyone have any idea what the ideal is? Anything under 90% is not ideal I am advised and I have read. 95% is pretty good. Is 100% too much? Can one cause damage? I am sleeping like a log and am feeling healthier (asides from the arthritis and crushed disks).

What is the ideal SpO2 during sleep?
Educate, Advocate, Contemplate.
Herein lies personal opinion, no professional advice, which ALL are well advised to seek.

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My oxygen dropped into the high seventies during my sleep apnea evaluation... after they applies PAP during my mask testing it ran 95%... my resting O2 level is 90%... The results of smoking 2 packs a day for 30 years... I quite smoking 27 years ago...

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Go by how you feel. Feeling great, then it is working.

I believe the night O2 is the same as the day, anything over 95%. I asked my doc about O2 levels back in the fall when I had horrible bronchitis. My O2 at her office was 91% and she was not happy. She said over 95% is the goal with 98% or higher being perfect. We breathe differently at night but the chemical exchange should not differ much.
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Breathe deeply and count to zen.


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It has become apparent to me that my SpO2 is running close to 100% all night these days with infused O2 and my aFib under control; this is a good thing for the body as the organs including the brain get well oxygenated while asleep.... it is, however, a grey area as I find that I am getting winded more easily as my body no longer needs to work as hard sucking oxygen out of the air at night. I am backing off on the O2 infusion and am down to 3L/M at night now. I will try 2L/M shortly..... what I would really like is one of the valves that hooks up to the pulse oximetry data in realtime and adjusts the O2 infusion flow automatically to keep your SpO2 at a preset level, like 95%.
Educate, Advocate, Contemplate.
Herein lies personal opinion, no professional advice, which ALL are well advised to seek.

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Compared to your baseline SpO2 while you are awake and at rest, your Sp02 while asleep should not drop by more than 4 percent from that baseline. If it does, most sleep labs call that a hypoxic event.

The normal baseline Sp02 for an individual is somewhat age dependent, but in general, a normal Sp02 is 95% or higher, assuming your are living at a normal altitude in room air without supplemental oxygen. It could be slightly lower at higher altitudes.
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That's a good question about O2 levels exceeding 100%.
This is from one website I found.
Measuring Oxygen Saturation

Kathy Lawrence, MSN, RNBC
Clinical Educator II
Educational Resource Center

Sue Simpson Johnson, BS, RRT
Manager, Pulmonary Care Services

Basically, a saturation of 97% of the total amount of hemoglobin in the body is filled with oxygen molecules. A range of 96% to 100% is generally considered normal. Anything below 90% could quickly lead to life-threatening complications. The margin between "healthy" saturation levels (95-98%) and respiratory failure (usually 85-90%) is narrow. If oxyhemoglobin is low (below 90%) inadequate amounts of oxygen will reach body cells!

Note: UTMB Pulmonary Care Services Oxygen Protocol requires titrating oxygen to maintain an SPO2 of 94% for most patients, and 92% for those who are CO2 retainers.

Pulse oximeters are used to monitor patients who have actual or potential respiratory problems. Although 100% saturation is not normal when breathing air, it can be achieved when supplementary oxygen is given. Oxygen, like any drug, can have toxic effects. So if oximetry consistently shows 100% saturation, patients may be receiving unnecessarily high levels of oxygen. However, 100% saturation may compensate for other problems of oxygen carriage, for example anemia, and you should consult medical staff to establish whether any change in oxygen therapy is appropriate.

As a rule of thumb, respiratory failure usually occurs when saturation (SpO2) falls to 90%, although some patients with chronic respiratory disease may tolerate lower saturations. Nurses should consider the patient's normal respiratory function and clarify the point at which medical staff needs to be informed of any changes. Alarm limits should be set at a level that identifies any significant change in saturation. Setting lower alarm limits of 90% may be appropriate when saturation is 95%, but inappropriate if saturation is fluctuating at 90-91%. If setting alarm limits below 90%, nurses should be cautious about the very narrow margin remaining before respiratory failure. Setting a lower alarm limit of 85% or less should always be avoided! Oxygen delivery to tissues, including vital organs, is likely to be inadequate at this level, and such low saturations usually require urgent medical intervention (intubation and artificial ventilation).

Oximetry may be used for 'spot checks' or a continuous measurement. Measurements should always be considered in the context of the whole person. A 'spot check' or single measurement of hemoglobin saturation might suggest respiratory problems. Example: a patient with no history of chronic respiratory disease who has a saturation of 90% may have an acute problem, such as a chest infection. But the value of isolated measurements is limited and trends are more important than absolute figures. Changes in saturation identify deterioration or improvement, caused either by changes in pathology, response to treatment, or both.
[commercial link removed per Apnea Board rules]

Sorry, had to remove the commercial website link per the rules, but if anyone would like to find the page she's referring to here, simply do a Google search for "favoriteplus Measuring Oxygen Saturation" and it will be the first link that pops up in the search results. Thanks. -SS

Moderator Action: Link Removed
To maintain our status as an educational organization, the only commercial links allowed in this forum are to CPAP-related manufacturer websites. This is stated in the Apnea Board Rules with details given in the Commercial Links Policy section.
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When using a pulse oximeter is important to remember that it is not actually giving you your actual arterial oxygen saturation. It is giving you an approximation of that value which would be obtained by taking a sample of your blood and analizing it. The actual number you read on your pulse oximeter is either more or less than the oxygen saturation of a blood sample taken simultaneously or seconds later, allowing for circulatory times to your finger. The best pulse oximeter can only claim a +- accuracy of 2 percent, when compared to a blood gas oxygen saturation value. To compound that, some manufacturers of pulse oximeters .e.g. Nonin Medical, purposely have their pulse oximeters report their readings on the low side to avoid missing situations where there is actually a O2 desaturation and the pulse ox not reflecting that. They have the philosophy that it is better to report the pulse ox low than to occasionally miss a desaturation event where therapeutic interventions is needed.

Therefore, given the 2 percent variability of a pulse ox, don't conclude you have horible lungs when your pulse ox is reading between 93 percent and 95 percent. If you have no health issues, its a good bet the actual blood gas oxygen saturation will be normal, above 95 percent i.e, your actual saturation if measured via a blood draw, could be higher. There are other limitations of pulse oximetry, too. For example, if you are polycythemic and have a high Hgb (which may be the case if you live at a higher altitude), a lower pulse ox may be OK for you. On the other hand, if you are anemic, a normal pulse ox reading may not exclude an oxygenation problem that you may be having.
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I just bought a recording SPO2 finger oximeter.
I seem to have the same low / dropping SPO2 readings while sleeping.
I'll share this data with my doctor.
(image is total of 7 hours)


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Your SpO2 is dangerously low.
Go immediately to your GP and hopefully get a CPAP / APAP machine urgently.

My SpO2 dropped to 62% during the sleep study and I was told to go onto a CPAP machine immediately.
The technician that did the study called my sleep specialist and they slotted me in a few days later.

I've been on the machine for about 2 1/2 months and feel great, lots of energy and no need for afternoon naps.

Good luck and keep us posted.

EDIT: I was told by my specialist that anything under 88% SpO2 is critical .....
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(08-08-2015, 04:43 AM)RegUS_PatOff_2000 Wrote: I just bought a recording SPO2 finger oximeter.
I seem to have the same low / dropping SPO2 readings while sleeping.
I'll share this data with my doctor.
(image is total of 7 hours)

Agree, see a sleep specialist ASAP, but in the meantime, there are a few things you can do. Try not to sleep on your back! Sleep on your side and slightly elevated if possible.
My oxygen levels dipped to 69% during sleep study, so I slept in a recliner until I got my APAP machine.

Low oxygen levels are dangerous, so see your doctor and take report with you.
Good luck.

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