Finger Oximeters

Sitting in the docs surgery today and noticed a finger oximeter on the desk.

I asked him how accurate they are, and he said very accurate.

So he stuck it on my finger and it read 97. Then he stuck it on his own finger and it read 95. PMSL. But he explained if we both were to walk to the front door and back, his would be much the same while mine would drop down a lot. When I did the 6 min. walk test two months ago, my sats started at 97 and ended at 89. So quite a drop. :( Keith. Just wondering if I need to get one, or am I better off not knowing.

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23 Replies

  • I have no intention of getting one, I know I would have it on my finger all day and panicking every time it dropped a bit, I've managed 3 years without one. I was told anything between 88 & 95 was OK for me.

    Lib x

  • I bought one after I had an exacerbation, and by the time I felt ill enough to go to the hospital, my sats read 60 something! Now I check them am and pm. It's nice when they are higher than you feel. I also have a very fast pulse, which needs checking.

    Mostly, like yourself, I am somewhere between 88 and 95, but I'll be glad to be able to avoid another exacerbation by seeing a doctor sooner and maybe just taking antibiotics at home.

    Lolly. x

  • I have one Keith but only because mine drop much, much lower. I use oxygen, and turn it up when moving around, but my SATS still drop into the 70s at times. If you don't have many problems maybe you will find it unnecessary to keep checking?

  • I've got one and it's quite a valuable little gadget - I check it if I get short of breath - if it stays around my normal 98 - that's cool, if it is lower and on rechecking throughout the day stays lower, for me that is an indication that the dreaded exacerbation may be heading my way. And as gadgets go, they're fun LOL :) xx

  • My instinct is to say don't bother you could drive yourself mad! However my husband has a different outlook and after initially driving me mad with it I have to admit I was probably wrong. These are particularly useful if you are ill. We took the readings for two weeks at the same time and recorded them to find a "normal" reading for my husband and then when he has exacerbations we can check his oxygen levels. This has proved very useful especially when he was quite ill earlier this year. In fact he was very ill but I was able to monitor his SATS and it gave us both reassurance and I was able to give the Doctor more evidence.

    In conclusion I would say that as long as they are used as an aid, they can be a very useful device. Only you know if you will drive yourself mad!

    Take care, TAD xx

  • I love mine, I got it from Amazon for about £20.00. Back in the 80's they cost an arm and a leg if you could get one, it's great for checking sats, try keep them mid nineties if I go below 92 I reach for the oxy! just love technology!

  • I got mine from Clinical and I find it very useful.

    Regards, Bobby

  • mine was from Amazon too, £19.

    I'm not obsesed with using it so usually stays in a drawer. On occasion though, when I'm feeling rough or during the night when my sats drop & pulse races it's really useful. Then I take some deep breaths for a few minutes to get back to near my normal.

    As the others say, it's a very valuable tool for showing when you're heading for an infection or something's amiss.

    happily, mine is in it's little pouch in the drawer :D

  • Hi Keith. I too got mine from Amazon. When I first got it was novel and I got a bit obsessive about looking at it all the time. Its now in a cupboard and I just use it ocassionaly now.

    I had my 6 min walk test at thie hospital this morning. My sats to start with were 94 which is what shows on my own oximeter but went down to 84 after the 6 min walk test. I managed 330 meters.

    Sue x

  • Did some one say gadget, I'm a Gemini, do they come in ten packs. One for each digit. Or even better 11 packs, you just never know. Keith :)

  • Lol!

  • Hello fellow Gemini - share the ten pack ! You can have the left handed ones and I'll have the right - deal? LOL :) xx

  • Sure thing scrobbitty, but what about the 11th one? earlobe perhaps :)

  • Hello Keith,

    I bought an oximeter to tell when my breathlessness was because of low saturation or anxiety which I suffer from. I can now correctly interpret the readings, but it has taken a long time so I would say, unless there is a good positive reason to have one and you are willing to learn to interpret the readings - forget it and leave it to the medical professionals.

    Regardless what you decide, take care,


  • Mine is from Amazon too. It's a Biosync pulse oximetry. I picked it due to the reviews.

    I'm normally around 97% but use it to check for exacerbations etc.

    Lynne xx

  • I was wondering about buying one myself I asked my respiratory oxygen nurse sometime ago but she said not to as people run their lives by them I wish I had bought one now just to check what they are as I have not been feeling too good don't know if it's due to a sinus infection, this heat or some other reason. At the last clinic my sats were 81 on air and 92 on oxygen 1ltr sitting but it was much cooler then I am very light headed, dizzy and SOB and I have developed a painful diaphram struggling to breathe

  • Hello Airhunter, I think you need more oxygen by the sound of it maybe 2ltrs, ask the nurse its important you are getting the right amount.

  • Hi Airhunter, my SATS are noticeably lower when moving around. Anyone checked your ambulatory readings?

  • I've had one for some time now. I do the odd check if I'm a bit puffed and as long as it's somewhere between 90 and 93 I'm ok with that. I do a quick check before going to bed and that's it. It gives me a bit of security, I suppose, as if it does drop below 88 for too long I can increase the percentage by controlled breathing or using my 1/2 L/min oxygen.

    On oxygen it gets to about 93% but if I control my breathing it goes to about 96%. Work that one out ! :)

  • I must remember that the latest posts are at the top ! It's all upside down from the old version !

  • Hi Puff, if you see the up and down arrows top right of the replies, you can change them back to old down to new, which I prefer. They seem to come out a bit higgledy piggedy the other way round. Sadie

  • Thank you hufferpuffer after a very scary day and night I am feeling a little easier today as it is cooler. My next clinic appointment is for October and I can't get an appointment with my GP until the 30th, this is all very new to me since I was addmited to hospital with a chest infection last October.

    Toci my sats have not been checked moving as yet only sitting I was told that I don't need my oxygen when sitting only if I am moving about, they were checked at home prior to my last clinic appointment and were 92 sitting at my laptop but dropped when I was busy typing and when I got up to attend to my printer to 88. I have had my 3 minuit walk test on oxygen which I completed okay but it was only a few days ago and the temperatures soaring that day and I was a bit wheezy from the pollen I became very very SOB and they said I was not ready yet. It is since then that I have had a very painful diaphram

  • I have no idea what my results where I have an assement folder but they did not fill it in

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