Jeffreys. Schwartz, MD
To the Editor: The study by Dillard and associates ( 1 ) concerning hypoxemia during air travel in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease contains a flaw in its design that likely affects the results. The investigators did spirometry and measured arterial blood gases immediately before altitude simulation. As suggested by our earlier study (2), the finding that sea-level arterial blood oxygen tension (PaO2) and forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) can be used to accurately determine Pao2 at 8000 feet may not be accurate when the measurements are done days or weeks before flight.
Although sea-level Pao2 in
Schwartz J. Hypoxemia during Air Travel. Ann Intern Med. ;112:147–148. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-112-2-147_2
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1990;112(2):147-148.
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