Take control of your COPD: know your baseline

Take control of your COPD: know your baseline
07 December 2018

By Clinical Nurse Manager Julie Shaw

New best practice out of NZ is leading the way in COPD management. You too can help yourself by knowing your oxygen baseline measurements.

Over 200,000  kiwis have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or otherwise known as emphysema, chronic bronchitis and/or chronic asthma.

As a health professional it is always pleasing to read that New Zealand is leading the way in best practice for our patients. A recent study found it is safer to treat patients with far lower doses of oxygen then what is used currently. Professor Richard Beasley of the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand and main author outlines that using oxygen as we do now at 100% leads to a dangerous build-up of carbon dioxide in the blood which is harmful. The study found if using compressed air that contains 21% oxygen is just as effective and safer, so is worth considering.

If you have COPD you should know what your oxygen saturation is at room air. Asking your Practice Nurse, Respiratory Nurse Champion or one of our Breathe Hawke’s Bay respiratory nurse educators to put that ‘peg’ on your finger and record your numbers. Get the nurse to write down the numbers so you can take them home and have the nurse explain what these mean. It is really important to know your baseline numbers especially if you become unwell. Knowing your baseline could influence your management and decrease the risk of receiving treatment such as oxygen when it is not required.

Learn more about the ground-breaking research being carried out here

If you have any further questions or would like a respiratory assessment then call the BHB office on 06 835 0018.