Overnight Oximetry Test

Lounge By -Tubbs Updated 17 Jan 2009 , 8:00am by redpanda

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-Tubbs Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 2:40pm
post #1 of 7

Has anyone's child had this test? My 8yo DS snores badly and is struggling in school, as if he's chronically tired. Our doctor thinks his tonsils are very large and might be causing sleep apnoea (sp?). She referred him to a pedatric ENT but the appointment isn't until April.

In the meantime a letter came saying we have to do this overnight oximetry test. I understand that it's to measure how much oxygen he's getting, but I'd like to know more about the equipment, how it's set up, and how the child is supposed to sleep with tubes and wires and whatever else is involved.

Thanks for any advice.

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Monkess Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 3:11pm
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My DH did this test years ago...basically there is a room with a bed(they have sheets but take your own pillow and a toy if your ds uses one) and they make you lie down and affix all these wires to your chest and head with gel. It is cumbersome and for an 8 year old might even be scary, I know I would not have been comfortable at 8 doing that....someone then speaks through a monitor and basically they record your sleeping patterns etc. ...in our case the dh was so alienated that he hardly got any sleep and the test naturally showed he didnt have any problems...DUH! Maybe they will let you be with him through the night? or atleast till he falls asleep...we had to pick him up the next morning at about 6 am....good luck!

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-Tubbs Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 3:57pm
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Thanks for your response. Did you ever get to the bottom of your DH's problems?

Actually we have to pick up the machine and do the test at home. Perhaps they figure it's less traumatic for a child to be at home, or they're more likely to sleep and give a better picture of any potential problems.

I guess the machine can't be THAT hard to deal with if they send you home with it, but the thought of wiring up my little guy for the night is a bit worrying. He has a queen bed, so I already thought I would sleep with him that night.

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Monkess Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 4:08am
post #4 of 7

Oh that is a relief! I am sure it is simple enough and with you next to him, there shouldnt be a problem. Lucky you, I wonder why they didnt do that for us? DH is still snoring, recently the humidifier has been helping alot. good luck!

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sweetness_221 Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 6:46am
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My DH had to do 2 of those a couple of years ago. He snores and has sleep apnea. He said it was the most miserable thing he's ever done and that it was very difficult to sleep with all of the wires and such. He ended up needing a CPAP machine, used it for a couple of weeks and then stopped. He couldn't sleep because every time he'd quit breathing it would shoot air down his nose and would wake him up. Hopefully the test won't be so bad for your little boy at home. Good luck and I hope everything works out for you.

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-Tubbs Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 8:25pm
post #6 of 7

Thanks for the information and good wishes. Yes, we're not looking forward to it. I wish my son wasn't always so tired, even though he gets around 11 hours of sleep every night. If better quality sleep comes out of this, it will be worth it.

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redpanda Posted 17 Jan 2009 , 8:00am
post #7 of 7

I think that there are a number of different tests that can be done during a "sleep study", some involving lots of wires and stuff. I think, though, that the oximetry test is the same thing as I have had a couple of times, due to respiratory illness. (I have been very close to respiratory failure a couple of times--scary stuff!!!)

If it is the same thing I had, they attached a little sensor to the pad of one of my fingers. The sensor had a little light in it that shone into my finger. Somehow, this thing measures blood oxygen levels. If I remember correctly, the sensor just slipped onto my finger, sort of like a cuff. But maybe one time, it was attached with medical tape.

It was a little hard to get used to, because it somewhat restricted movement of my hand, but nothing terrible.

The part that was annoying was when (in the hospital) they had an alarm on the machine that went off if my oxygen levels went too low, and it would wake me so I could take a deep breath. I know, it may have helped prevent harm from low oxygen, but man was I tired by morning.

Good luck with the test. I recommend asking the doc for a description of the test/equipment. It may not be a big, scary setup.


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