Forum Replies Created

  • Tomisa

    February 4, 2021 at 9:55 pm in reply to: Shortness of breath and supplemental O2

    Hello, All!

    As an African-American patient with Scleroderma and PF, I feel it necessary to point out that fingertip Pulse Oximeters fail to accurately detect low Oxygen levels in individuals with dark skin, Blacks in particular. This problem was reported in the December 17 2020 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, as I recall.

    Pulse Oximeters actually overestimate Oxygen saturation in dark-skinned individuals who are hypoxic. This problem is compounded in people with dark skin who are hypoxic and who also have low hemoglobin.

    Due to Scleroderma, I have poor perfusion in my fingertips and toes. I am also chronically anemic with chronically low hemoglobin. So, I am one of those patients who has a problem getting an accurate reading from a Pulse Oximeter.

    Although there are other reasons why people may feel short of breath without having low Oxygen saturation, that Pulse Oximeters routinely overestimate  blood Oxygen levels in hypoxic dark-skinned patients is something which must not be overlooked.

    For years, I had been short of breath despite having normal saturation readings on fingertip Pulse Oximeters. My physicians interpreted this as simple de-conditioning. However, my first abnormally low saturation reading occurred only when a Pulse Oximeter with a forehead sensor (the recommended method for  Scleroderma patients) was used.

    It was determined that I had been chronically hypoxic for years. I even used to have momentary grey-outs. Eventually, I developed Pulmonary Hypertension.

    The NEJM stated that fingertip Pulse Oximeters do not seem to overestimate Oxygen saturation in healthy individuals with dark skin, however. The Journal’s recommendation is that an Arterial Blood Gas test be given to patients with dark skin in order to check the accuracy of the reading.

  • Tomisa

    January 31, 2023 at 7:02 pm in reply to: Covid causing pulmonary fibrosis

    OFEV is also for treating pulmonary fibrosis in Scleroderma, or SSc-ILD.