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Carbon dioxide retainers

I can't find a question and answer section to post in, but I am wanting to know how it is determined that a person with COPD is a carbon dioxide retainer?

  1. I noticed that there is a scale that measures Carbon Dioxide ranges on a standard metabolic blood test I've been given. If that is within the normal range does that rule out CO2 retention during the time the test is done?


    1. Hi anniewi, and thanks for your post and question. It is a good one! You may be aware we cannot provide medical advice or diagnostics over the internet (for your own safety), but your concern certainly warrants a reply.
      In the most general of terms, the CO2 level provided for a metabolic test may be somewhat related to the arterial CO2 but, it is not a true indication of what is happening acutely. It really is only the arterial blood gas sample (of CO2) that actually telegraphs CO2 retention.
      For the best answer to your question and, most importantly, how it relates to your specific condition, you may want to discuss this with your physician. The doctor will be able to explain to you the results of the metabolic blood work, and how it reflects your particular condition.
      What do you think?
      Leon (site moderator COPD.net)


  2. Hi Shadygrove, and thanks for your post and your question - it's a good one!
    We used to have a question & answer section on this site which has now been replaced by the 'forums' section, so you are in the right place.
    You may be aware we cannot provide medical advice or diagnostics over the internet (for your own safety), but I did want to make a comment about your concern about carbon dioxide (CO2) retention and COPD.
    In the most general of terms, a physician can usually determine if a patient with COPD is a CO2 retainer by analyzing a series of blood gases for the patient. This generally happens over time.
    Is this something you are concerned about for yourself?
    Have you had an opportunity to discuss this with your physician?
    Wishing you well,
    Leon (site moderator COPD.net)

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