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Can one have a asthma attack if oxygen levels are normal?
An_241424 posted:
I went to Er with shortness of breath and cough but had a oxygen level of 99. They did not offer a breathing treatment since the oxygen level was good but I still felt like I could barely breath. Augh! They did offer a chest xray which was normal and then the Dr looked in my nose and throat and said you have alot of mucus post nasel drip which may be causing brocial spasms. Gave me nasnex nose spray and a antibotic. (I did not have a fever). So was this a asthma attack? I have been on 40 mgs of Prednisone do to several days with shortness of breath and cough. ( I do have a chest cold) Can one still have a attack with good levels? Why is it still tight in the chest and shortness of breath if your oxygen levels are good?
donmol responded:
I have had this happen to me on several occasions. The last last time in March of 2011 I had a chest cold and went to my PCP which she put me on Prednisone taper dose and the second night I ended up waking in the night SOB ans wheezing. I went to the ER thank goodness the respiratory therapist on that night new me well as the ER doc said my O2 sat was 96% and chest xray was fine and I had a chest cold and to cont. with my Prednisone and was going to send me home. The respiratory therapist explained my case and while the doc was going over my case I crashed in the ER end ended up having a 7 day stay in the ICU and 6 days on Med Surg floor for a total of a 13 day inpatient stay. I think the ER gets overwhelmed with cases and looks at numbers and does not listen to what patients tell them. I can relate to this as I am a nurse as well ans work in an ER and have to be a patient advocate when I am not a patient. Just because numbers and test results don't make sense at times if they would stop and listen to the patient it could save a life. If it was not for that Respiratory Therapist I would have 2 daughters that would be growing up without a mother today.
sgbl88 responded:

Only the worst asthma attacks/flares lower O2 levels. If a patient reaches a point where O2 levels are lowered, they are in serious condition. I did "function" for about a year with O2 at and below 95 but still over 90, but I didn't have any energy for much.

I hope that helps some.

Take care and feel better.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end... Ye shall seek me, and find [me]
choo_chu responded:
Drs and nurses can be, shall I say, less than perfect. I went to the ER one time and my O2 sats were 91% while I was in an asthma attack. I received no treatment at all because for some reason the nurses could not get it through their thick skulls that people who have mental health histories can also have asthma. When the doctors came in to see me, they noted my O2 sats were 91%. When they were asking me questions about my mental health, I asked them why they were asking about my mental health when I came in for asthma. The doctors were surprised when I told them I had asthma. They said nobody told them I had asthma...they were only told of my mental health history. Eventually I was treated for asthma. One of the nurses made the executive decision, that because I have a mental health history, my "breathing" problems must be anxiety. I had to sit around with O2 sats of 91% in and asthma attack while bias idiots figured out that people with mental health histories can also have asthma attacks. Everytime something happens to me and I get stuck going to that ER I absolutely dread it because I know idiots work there.
An_241422 replied to choo_chu's response:
Oh choo_chu, that frustrates me to no end! You are absolutely right and I'm glad you asked what your mental health history has to do with your current trouble breathing. I can't think of many people who wouldn't be feeling anxious if they could not breathe--that doesn't make your difficulties any less real! I imagine there is a decent amount of comorbidity with depression/anxiety and asthma--it would make sense--and that does not de-legitimize EITHER or ANY condition. Treat me for what I am here for, people. I was prescribed Ativan (anti-anxiety med) when I went to the ER for asthma once as well. O2 sats were good so of course they tried to brush it aside. They gave me that and a breathing treatment, at the same time, and then had the nerve to say it was anxiety, not asthma. Really? How can you know or tell that, since you gave BOTH treatments and suddenly I can breathe again and now I'm ready to fall asleep because you gave me an anti-anxiety pill. Arg. However, I can say that ativan will take the edge off of the albuterol shakes!!

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