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Suffers from sleep apnea, high BP. Knuckle to fingertip are blue and numb due to driving. Should he rush to emergency ?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
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This is about my husband, he is in New Jersey right now helping a friend. I'm in Florida and freaking out. He suffers from a back injury he sustained 6 yrs ago. He had nerve damage and is on lyrica. He also is on meds for depression, high blood pressure and has been complaining about chest pain off and on. He was recently diagnosed with sleep apnea and just got a machine. He and his friend drove to new jersey from XXXXXXX Florida. The stopped at a hotel last night to rest. All day today he has been telling me his fingertips from the knuckle to the tip are blue and numb. I begged him to go to the hospital. He says the blue is gone but his palms are blue. Again he won't go to the hospital because he says he is too tired from the drive. He said he will call me in an hour with a update on the blue palms and fingertips. I am worried from all I've read. Should I wake his friend to take him to emergency?
Posted Tue, 22 May 2012 in Sleep Disorders
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 2 hours later

Thanks for posting your query.

The blue color of his fingers and palms with numbness is suggestive of a compromised blood circulation in the area - It could happen due to an exposure to cold, vessels and nerve compression due to abnormal posture while driving, Raynaud's syndrome or a blood clot.

You can ask your friend to warm himself. If after warming the fingers or after mild exercise of hand the color returns to normal then there is nothing to be worried about and he can go for a routine check up after he comes back home.

In case the blue color is persistent, then he needs to attend an emergency room to rule out any blood clots.

I hope this answers your query. In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.

Wish you good health.

Dr. Praveen Tayal
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