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COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

COPD

04/27/2010

Question:

what happens if my oxygen level goes to 40.

Answer:

Low oxygen levels do not damage the lungs (they are already damaged).  The low oxygen damages the heart and the brain as these are the organs that use the most oxygen. When your blood oxygen level is low, the blood vessels in the lung contract. (I know this is counterintuitive, but the body does this to protect against gases that may be present such as carbon monoxide.)  When the blood vessels in the lungs contract, this is called pulmonary hypertension.  This high blood pressure in the lungs can lead to heart failure.

Although it is not possible to provide specific predictions in a forum such as this, you may find the guidelines below helpful in knowing what to expect.

Please accept our best wishes.

Emphysema: Stages and Life Expectancy

For more information:

Go to the COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Gerene S Bauldoff, RN, PhD, FCCP, FAACVPR, FAAN Gerene S Bauldoff, RN, PhD, FCCP, FAACVPR, FAAN
Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
The Ohio State University