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Asthma/Pulse-Ox meters

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Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:55 pm
Location: Boulder, CO

Re: Asthma/Pulse-Ox meters

Postby MountainMedic » Sat May 18, 2013 8:52 am

+1 on the peak flow meter. It provides a much better guide for asthma treatment than pulse oximetry, and is likely to provide objective evidence of an attack before pulse oximetry will. Asthmatics having a mild attack can stay in the mid 90's, but their peak flow will drop.

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Re: Asthma/Pulse-Ox meters

Postby unclegar » Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:46 pm

After thinking about this discussion, I bought a finger pulse-oximeter for $35 @ Walmart and out of curiosity took it with me when I climbed Longs and Pagoda last week. At home (8000 ft) I typically read 97. I checked about 1/3 up the Loft couloir and was reading 83. I didn't think to check on Longs summit but went to Pagoda next and checked on the summit and it was 81. As l mentioned before, since 2010 I have wondered about asthma-like symptoms that I sometimes have on climbs and in general since then. I don't recall having any wheezing during this hike though. Anyway, I thought this might be interesting to someone. The unit itself is so small and light that bringing it was not a problem. I don't think it is necessary to bring one to evaluate your asthma symptom potential but I do wonder if people with airway restrictions may read lower at altitude than people with no airway issues.
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