Rolando Berger, MD
To the Editor: I enjoyed reading Dr. Hansen's clever letter (1) regarding the article by Dillard and colleagues (2) on the oxygen requirements of patients with lung disease who must travel by airplane. I am a bit concerned, however, about his unqualified recommendation that patients with borderline hypoxemia should drink or eat a carbohydrate-rich diet before and during flights.
Dr. Hansen is essentially correct in stating that in a patient with a partial pressure of arterial carbon dioxide (PaCO2) of 40 mm Hg, increasing the respiratory quotient (Rq) value from 0.75 to 0.95 would result in an increase in the
Berger R. Oxygen, Food, and Air Travel. Ann Intern Med. ;112:236. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-112-3-236_1
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1990;112(3):236.
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