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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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    What causes sudden stop in the respiration and pulse with COPD?

A patient was admitted to the hospital with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. His PO2 was 55 and PCO2 was 65. A new resident orders 54% oxygen via the venturi mask. One hour later, after the oxygen was placed, the nurse finds the patient with no respiration or pulse. She calls for a Code Blue and begins cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Explain why the patient stopped breathing.

Fri, 11 Aug 2017
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Pulmonologist 's  Response
Thanks for your question on Healthcare Magic.
I can understand your concern.
COPD patients show slightly low oxygen (88-92%)and slightly high carbon dioxide.
So their central respiratory drive (brain stimulus) is governed by low oxygen (hypoxia).
So when COPD patients receive high flow oxygen, this hypoxic central drive abolish and hence patient stop breathing.
So never give high flow oxygen in COPD patients. Target Spo2 is 88-92%.
Hope I have solved your query. I will be happy to help you further. Thanks.
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