Vital Signs

An insidious--and often undiagnosed--sleep disorder robs a woman of her ability to take in oxygen

By Tony Dajer|Monday, May 01, 2000
Beatrice stood five feet one and weighed just about 280 pounds. I marveled that she could move at all. Bob, my resident, described her case: "Thirty-four-year-old woman complaining of shortness of breath with exertion, cold symptoms, cough, extreme weakness, and fatigue for three weeks. Her doctor prescribed codeine for the cough. And oh, I forgot--her O-2 sat is 70 percent." O-2 means oxygen. Sat means saturation. It's an easy figure to get f...

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