The Rise of COPD in Rural America

2 thoughts on “The Rise of COPD in Rural America

  1. Rob Baker says:

    I have COPD
    We spend 7 months in Denver and 5 months in Florida a year.
    My Denver oxygen scrip. calls for 2 liters at night 2 liters resting or idle and 3 liters during activity.
    What will be my oxygen requirement in Florida?

    1. PERF says:

      Dear Rob,

      We usually get the opposite question. That is, when flying from sea level, what will an oxygen requirement be in Denver, or flying across country in a plane pressurized to 8,000 feet? The answer to your question is different because, in this case, you will be at sea level for 5 months rather than 5 hours! An oxygen saturation of about 98% is the norm at sea level, but in Denver, a decrease to about 92% saturation is normal. The answer for you, with your diagnosis of COPD is, can’t be predicted with certainty. It depends on several factors and your pulmonologist is the one to give you that information.

      Your pulmonologist will want to know your history, and get copies of the tests that showed why you needed oxygen in the mile high city, with its altitude of 5280 feet (or 1609 meters) above sea level. Be sure you have copies of all these tests, and of your history and physical, before you leave. Ask your current physician to suggest some possible pulmonologists in your new area, based on that new doctor’s educational background and other basic information easily available on line. You could do some preliminary internet searches of your own.

      Ask your current physician to suggest what your oxygen prescription should be until you see your new pulmonologist. You almost certainly will require less oxygen in Florida, though oxygen requirements during sleep may be a different issue. How much less oxygen you finally need will up to your new pulmonologist to decide after seeing the results of the tests that probably will be ordered.

      You have chosen two wonderful places to live! Best wishes for good health in both of them,

      Mary Burns, RN, BS

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