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Real members of myPHteam have posted questions and answers that support our community guidelines, and should not be taken as medical advice. Looking for the latest medically reviewed content by doctors and experts? Visit our resource section.

Pulse Oximeter

Pulse Oximeter

I have one but I do not think it is hospital grade. What are the top rated ones some of you use? And which finger do you use?? I hear right middle and thumb is most accurate however using my right takes a long time to even register it then it will read 75 82 and then go up. I would think if I was at those numbers I would definitely be breathing very rapidly and shallow

posted August 6, 2021
A myPHteam Member

They are all the same. does not matter what finger. When you se the bar/line going up n down the is your pulse/heart rate. The number with %spo2 that is the % of the air you are retaining in your blood stream. Wash your hands. Make sure the finger you use is warm, if it cold, it will not be accurate. Hang the finger down, some people you have to do this. Do not have in the direct light/sunlight.

posted August 6, 2021
A myPHteam Member

I have done the test before, I know I have sleep apna and I refuse the mask. I want to try inspire.com

posted August 24, 2021
A myPHteam Member

I thought this information would be helpful regarding PulseOx.
"fda.gov"
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is informing patients and health care providers that although pulse oximetry is useful for estimating blood oxygen levels, pulse oximeters have limitations and a risk of inaccuracy under certain circumstances that should be considered. Patients with conditions such as COVID-19 who monitor their condition at home should pay attention to all signs and symptoms of their condition and communicate any concerns to their health care provider.

Recommendations for Patients and Caregivers
How to take a reading:
Follow your health care provider’s recommendations about when and how often to check your oxygen levels.
Be aware that multiple factors can affect the accuracy of a pulse oximeter reading, such as poor circulation, skin pigmentation, skin thickness, skin temperature, current tobacco use, and use of fingernail polish. To get the best reading from a pulse oximeter:
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use.
When placing the oximeter on your finger, make sure your hand is warm, relaxed, and held below the level of the heart. Remove any fingernail polish on that finger.
Sit still and do not move the part of your body where the pulse oximeter is located.
Wait a few seconds until the reading stops changing and displays one steady number.
Write down your oxygen levels with the date and time of the reading so you can easily track changes and report these to your health care provider.
How to interpret a reading:
When taking pulse oximeter measurements, pay attention to whether the oxygen level is lower than earlier measurements, or is decreasing over time. Changes or trends in measurements may be more meaningful than one single measurement. Over the counter products that you can buy at the store or online are not intended for medical purposes.
Do not rely only on a pulse oximeter to assess your health condition or oxygen level.
If monitoring oxygen levels at home, pay attention to other signs or symptoms of low oxygen levels, such as:
Bluish coloring in the face, lips, or nails;
Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, or a cough that gets worse;
Restlessness and discomfort;
Chest pain or tightness; and
Fast or racing pulse rate.
Be aware that some patients with low oxygen levels may not show any or all of these symptoms. Only a health care provider can diagnose a medical condition such as hypoxia (low oxygen levels).
When to contact your health care provider:
If you are concerned about the pulse oximeter reading, or if your symptoms are serious or getting worse, contact a health care provider.
If you think you may have COVID-19, contact your health care provider or local health department about getting a diagnostic test for COVID-19. Pulse oximeters cannot be used to diagnose or rule out COVID-19.

posted August 6, 2021
A myPHteam Member

I have used about 5 different oximeters. They didn't vary much so all gave a close o2 level. What they did differ in was speed. The best one I came across is the Henry Schein brand.

Just a little side note; you don't have to put it on the fingernail side. It actually works better on the padded finger side. Try it!
When I was first diagnosed my o2 would go down to 73-74 upon exertion and I didnt know it yet. I was never out of breath. I would get tunnel vision and weak in the legs, things would get a little gray. I would stop and wait for it to clear up, it was then I heard the little voice in my head to get an oximeter.

posted August 6, 2021 (edited)
A myPHteam Member

Thanks everyone. They had me wear it overnight to see if I need oxygen at night. Before the pulmonologist runs other tests to see if it is something else like sleep apena. So I just wait and see.

posted August 24, 2021

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