What causes ankle swelling and fluctuating oxygen saturation?

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Posted on Mon, 7 Apr 2014 in Lung and Chest disorders
Question: Hi, my husband is 88 and was hospitalized in Nov as he was coughing up blood. He had aprox. 8 oz of fluid between his lung and lung sac. Within 1 day his body absorbed the fluid. He was on indomethacin 50 mg for gout after getting an expired rabies vaccination and then getting another non-expired rabies vaccination the next day last summer. His gout flared constantly there after. He was taken off indomethacin after hospitalization and put on prednisone I use only for gout flares. It was prescribed 10 mg a day, but his gout flares have decreased over time since Rabies vaccination Over Dose. They didn't find anything else and discharged him after 3 days. In Dec. he coughed up blood again, but refused to go to hospital. Dr couldn't get him in for 2 months. I gave him prednisone, he has for gout flares, as though I was treating gout. That was the only extra med they gave him in the hospital. It seemed to help and after much ado the lung Dr. got him in the day I called his primary and informed them he couldn't wait 2 months so I began prednisone. Lung Dr. said to continue treatment I began. He ran tests and found a small tumor or cist in lung and said he wanted to watch it and if it's still there in March biopsy. He was on oxygen at night ( he smoked until he was 82), and his saturation was over 90 awake. His saturation has gotten erratic over the last week and sometimes awake will drop to 83 then sometimes it's 95. It drops even without exertion, but not always. My husband is a great man, and served our country in WWII. I know he's old, but would do anything to buy him some more quality time. He is my world and I can't stand the thought of loosing him. Do you have any explanation for what could cause variation in oxygen saturation? Do you have any advise? Would giving him the 10 mg of prednisone daily help?
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Answered by Dr. Divya Kuttikrishnan 1 hour later
Brief Answer: .... Detailed Answer: Hi there. Thanks for writing in. Sorry to hear that you and your husband are going through a lot. It is very hard when your loved one is ill. I would advise you to take him to the hospital. The ankle swelling ( Edema) , is why , your finger leaves an impression when you press for a few seconds).The causes of ankle edema on both legs (if bilateral)can be due to cardiac, renal, hepatic causes. The drop in oxygen saturation occasionally might be due to the lung pathology. Also his cardiac status needs to be evaluated, if he is having ankle edema. Do not give him prednisone 10mg, unless it is advised by the treating physician. He definitely needs to be evaluated further. Regards, Dr. Divya Kuttikrishnan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Divya Kuttikrishnan 1 hour later
I called Dan's primary, Dr. Renderler and he said if the swelling is still there in the morning and breathing is still sporadic to take XXXXXXX to ER. If you'd like to comment or can give me insight I will be glad to hear it. I am grateful and thank you for your time. XXXX
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Answered by Dr. Divya Kuttikrishnan 7 hours later
Brief Answer: .. Detailed Answer: Hi XXXX.... I agree with Dr. Renderler that you have to take him to the ER .Since ,he has pitting ankle edema and occasional drop in oxygen saturation, I can't say for sure, but fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema) is a possibility. Hope your husband gets well soon....
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Divya Kuttikrishnan

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2000

Answered : 969 Questions

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