My hospitals physicians NEVER document chronic respiratory failure. What criteria would you use to query them? And where can I find the criteria for what constitutes this diagnosis?
Sandy. When a patient with chronic or end stage lung disease comes in with a respiratory problem, you are likely going to get a blood gas. Then you see very high pCO2 levels This represents respiratory problems. If, in the best of circumstances, the pCO2 stays considerably over 55, this is consistent with chronic respiratory failure. If the pH is under 7.35 at the same time, the patient has acute AND chronic respiratory failure. When a patient with chronic or end stage lung disease comes in without a respiratory problem, you are not likely to see a blood gas, but there will almost always be a basic metabolic panel with Na, K, CO2 and Cl. If, with all of the clinical indicators of a really sick lung patient, constant need for oxygen, inability to survive without support, the CO2 level is 35 or above, that may be consistent with chronic respiratory failure. It gives you an identifier to ask the question.