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What are the treatments for COPD hypoxia and hypoxemia?

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The treatment for serious hypoxia or hypoxemia is extra oxygen. You may get it through a tube called a nasal cannula or a face mask.

You could need round-the-clock oxygen. But small amounts might be enough if you just get short of breath during exercise or have slightly low oxygen levels.

Your doctor may use a device called a high-flow nasal cannula. It gives you oxygen that's been heated and humidified (had moisture added). This can work better than traditional oxygen therapy.

You might have long-term oxygen therapy at home. You could be on oxygen for 18 hours a day.

In some cases, your doctor may add inhaled corticosteroids to your COPD medications. They could also ask you to use a pulse oximeter to track your condition. That's a small device that measures how much oxygen is in your blood.

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: “COPD,” “Hypoxemia.”

International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: “Hypoxemia in patients with COPD: cause, effects, and disease progression.”

AcuteCareTesting.org: “Emergency Assessment of Oxygenation.”

Lung India: “Mechanisms of hypoxemia,” “Guidelines for diagnosis and management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: Joint ICS/NCCP (I) recommendations.”

Common Surgical Diseases: “Hypoxemia and Hypoxia.”

BMC Pulmonary Medicine: “Clinical, physiologic, and radiographic factors contributing to development of hypoxemia in moderate to severe COPD: a cohort study.”

Respiratory Care: “Tissue hypoxia: implications for the respiratory clinician.”

Cleveland Clinic: “COPD: What are the symptoms?”

Medicine LibreTexts: “Signs and Symptoms of Hypoxia.”

Emergency Medicine Journal: “Emergency oxygen therapy for the COPD patient.”

Annals of Thoracic Medicine: “Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: More than meets the eye.”

PlosOne: “Domiciliary high-flow treatment in patients with COPD and chronic hypoxic failure: In whom can we reduce exacerbations and hospitalizations?”

StatPearls: “High Flow Nasal Cannula.”

American Thoracic Society: “Systemic Effects of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease,” “Research Priorities in Pathophysiology for Sleep-disordered Breathing in Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, An Official American Thoracic Society Research Statement,”  “An Official American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society Statement: Update on Limb Muscle Dysfunction in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.”

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on August 3, 2020

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: “COPD,” “Hypoxemia.”

International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: “Hypoxemia in patients with COPD: cause, effects, and disease progression.”

AcuteCareTesting.org: “Emergency Assessment of Oxygenation.”

Lung India: “Mechanisms of hypoxemia,” “Guidelines for diagnosis and management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: Joint ICS/NCCP (I) recommendations.”

Common Surgical Diseases: “Hypoxemia and Hypoxia.”

BMC Pulmonary Medicine: “Clinical, physiologic, and radiographic factors contributing to development of hypoxemia in moderate to severe COPD: a cohort study.”

Respiratory Care: “Tissue hypoxia: implications for the respiratory clinician.”

Cleveland Clinic: “COPD: What are the symptoms?”

Medicine LibreTexts: “Signs and Symptoms of Hypoxia.”

Emergency Medicine Journal: “Emergency oxygen therapy for the COPD patient.”

Annals of Thoracic Medicine: “Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: More than meets the eye.”

PlosOne: “Domiciliary high-flow treatment in patients with COPD and chronic hypoxic failure: In whom can we reduce exacerbations and hospitalizations?”

StatPearls: “High Flow Nasal Cannula.”

American Thoracic Society: “Systemic Effects of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease,” “Research Priorities in Pathophysiology for Sleep-disordered Breathing in Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, An Official American Thoracic Society Research Statement,”  “An Official American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society Statement: Update on Limb Muscle Dysfunction in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.”

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on August 3, 2020

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What are the complications of COPD hypoxia and hypoxemia?

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