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Hi all. My Husbands oxygen rate is 86 at rest with no oxygen. It goes up to 95 or 96 on oxygen. We have been told he is to use it when doing anything but not all the time. Is 86 too low or is this normal. I would be grateful for your replies.

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Oxygen levels differ from person to person, if a doctor or nurse have said their happy with your husbands levels and they only want him to use it when moving about I wouldn't worry. I would ring the helpline Monday if your still concerned.

Kim xxx

Thanks Kimmy.

Check Hubbys finger nails Mavery if you think there is a bit of a blue tint to them put him on O2 for a little while, the lips can get tinged with blue too, but I,m thinking a call to NHS help line to chat to nurse will put your mind at ease at least until you can see your own

Good luck xxxx

Thanks Sillywitch.

Glad to help, hope he improves soon for you, keep us up to date eh? xxxx

Will do. Thanks.

Hi Marvary not being on oxygen not sure how it all works and the do's and donts,If you are the slightest concerned call for help and advice my darling, the worry for you is immense .Personally if I was in your position Id wack the oxygen on sounds to me that tonight he needs a bit extra than normal,whats the problem with giving the extra at times like this? hopefully someone with more knowledge than me can help ?Me give it to him and make a call Marvary,All will be well Janexx

Will do. I don't know much about it either but I thought that was a bit low. It seems to be lower since he has been ill. I thought someone would come along to give me advice. It looks like there are some more people whom I haven't read yet. Thanks anyway. X

I'm on oxygen. Anything below 88% is the lowest they think it should go so best put the oxygen on if it reaches that.

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Thanks puffthemagicdragon. I thought someone would know. He hasn't been on it too long. I think it's about eight or so weeks. Trouble is he has had this really bad chest infection. I will get him to put the oxygen mask on tomorrow until it goes up to the nineties. I will also text the oxygen Nurse and she may come back to me tomorrow. It may mean he needs a new assessment. Thanks anyway.

Here to help ! :)

Call me Puff. Most do. :)


The acceptable levels at rest are 88/92%

For moving around and excercise acceptable levels are 91/92%

Home oximeters are not suitable for spot checks, they need time to stabilise, some start low and go up, some start high and come down,

Does the sat go up if you take a few deep breaths.

If you have not been assessed for Long term oxygen therapy, I would seek advise from you respitory nurse. As you may need further assessment

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Hi Stone. Thanks for that. I will try him on the deep breath thing and see what happens. He is on oxygen for the rest of his life but only for doing anything. At rest he was assessed as not needing it. He has Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis which is progressive. And has a short prognosis. He has just had a bad chest infection and has been in hospital. We leave the oximetre on until it has settled. I think maybe he does need a re assessment. I will be sorting that on Monday. In the meantime I will text the Respiratory Nurse tomorrow. I may get an answer tomorrow. Thanks for your help. Now I know it should be higher I will do something about it.

Bearing in mind the above some of us on oxygen are ' retainers ', that is on oxygen we tend to retain carbon di-oxide, CO2. It is the level of CO2 in the brain that influences breathing. I would suggest you contact a medical professional with a view to determining if this has a bearing in your case.


True, and too much oxy for a retainer can be quite dangerous. x

Hi Libby. Thanks for your message. I am getting my Husband to use oxygen as he was in the hospital. Two when resting but not all the time and four when moving about. I have contacted the Respiratory Nurse and hope to hear from her in the morning.

Thanks Sirdandy1. I have left a message for the Respiratory Nurse but I imagine she has Sundays off. She will probably contact me in the morning. I am getting my Husband to turn it down to two when he is resting and not using it all the time. That is what they were doing in hospital. He goes up to four when moving about. Thanks once again.

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Good morning Mavary I would take the advise Stitch has given and ring your out of hours surgery today even if only for their opinion on your course of action. Please keep us informed. My thoughts are with you xx

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Thanks Suzy6. I have left a text for the Respiratory Nurse and hope to hear from her in the morning. I have got him using the oxygen as he did in hospital. Two for resting as needed and four for moving around.

Still in my thoughts.

Hi Suzy6. Have heard from the Respiratory Nurse. She says it is always wise to increase the oxygen in the case of a chest infection. Also to send off a sputum sample to see if they are treating it with the right drugs and the Doctor will let her know if she needs to make a call. So not a lot different. I think doing what the hospital were doing is the right thing to do. Are you ok! Thanks for posting. X

Thanks Stitch. I've got him using oxygen as he did in the hospital. Two for resting and four for moving around. I have also texted the Respiratory Nurse and am hoping to hear from her in the morning.

Hi Mavary, I have IPF too and my oxygen is at 86. I have oxygen on at 2lt most of the time and am told to turn it up when doing anything.I am trying to be positive and not think of what is going to happen although if you are awake in the night your mind does go there a bit! We just have to keep on keeping on don't we? Give him my best wishes. Popplewell

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Hi Popplewell. Thanks for your post. I know what you are saying the mind is so over active at this time. We both have nights that we don't sleep well now. I have got him to use the oxygen as the hospital got him to. I didn't want to call the out of hours Doctor as it is 111now and they may have taken him back to hospital again when all I want is advice. I have got him on two for resting as needed and four which he was told to be on for moving around. I have also texted the Respiratory Nurse and hope to hear from her in the morning. If you would like to PM me anytime please do.

I'm on oxygen I would say check with your respiratory team as they normal recommend above 88. Is your husband on oxygen overnight?

Best wishes


Hi Jo. No! My Husband is not on oxygen overnight . Not usually but since his chest infection he has been on a few nights. I have left a message for the Respiratory Nurse and hope to hear from her in the morning.

It is best to have professional advice as too much oxygen can be as bad as too little. Hope she gets back to you soon.

Thanks Jojam. Me too.

I have found this very interesting my o2 at rest can be ok but the smallest excretion and I am out of breath. I have an oxymeter and when I first got it I pushed myself to go up and down stairs 3 times and I dropped to 80% along with heart rate of 124 my legs going to lead. I have woke in the morning at 85%. If I leave it on and it is up and down all the time but level heart rate?

I hope you get it sorted.

Thanks Offcut.

Need to take care and get advice from your oxygen nurse. Several things already said which I agree with.

You must be careful not to give him too much oxygen in case he is a retainer.

Home oxymiters can give a false low reading eg if hands are cold. My reading varies from finger to finger on occasions and readings can increase if I take a few deep breaths especially if I have been sitting quietly, shallow breathing. Readings often low on waking before I took my first deep breaths.

Home oxymiter gives different reading than an ABG test in hospital which is what they use when deciding on oxygen needs.

My oxygen levels drop quite quickly and low immediately after oxygen therapy. It takes about 1/2 hr for my level to stablise.

I am on 4Lpm for 15hrs including overnight and on 8Lpm 'ambulatory cylinders. Rest of the time I am breathing air.

Hi Happyfeet. I am hoping to get it sorted in the morning. I have texted the Respiratory Nurse. He didn't alter his oxygen from two to four which he is supposed to have for moving about. His oxygen went down to 79. So you can see why I worry. Thanks for your message.

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Hi Marvary hows hubby today and how are you?Did you manage to talk to anybody who could help and put your mind at rest ? Thinking of you. Janexx

Hi Jane. I am ok. It's the other one I worry about. I didn't really know who to contact. I texted the Respiratory Nurse in the hopes she would get back to me. She has said contact her anytime but there you go. I didn't want to go down the route of 111 as they may have taken him in again when all we need is advice. You can't just get a Doctor any more. I've compromised and got him to put his oxygen on two for resting and four for moving about which is what he has been told to do. Thanks for posting. How are you? Mavis. X

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Isnt it difficult as you say those numbers they say to ring normally say they are sending an ambulance or recommending that you get yourself to hospital. Right down a little list as to what you need to know for the future at w/e and find out from nurse if they are about at the w/e for query's and probs I think they are meant to be arnt they? Ive got my assessment for PR on tuesday seems to have taken so long better late than never eh. Im actually very well at the moment Mavis hows about yourself you must feel mentally drained sometimes,I know you wouldnt have it any other way but these things take their toll so please take care of you to. :) Janexx

Yes Jane. It is very difficult. The trouble is there is nothing they can do for him. I've just got to stand by and see him get worse. We have never been offered pulmonary rehab. Everyone else seems to go but no I didn't know anything about it till I came on this site. It wouldn't do him any good now anyway. I'm ok apart from I think I may be coming down with a cold or bad throat. Probably picked it up from my Husband. I've got to be ok though. He can't do much now. I don't like that 111system that is how he went in last time although he did have a temperature of 39.1 which is a bit high. I just wanted to talk to a Doctor this time or someone who knew about oxygen but you have to talk to an assessor first and who.knows they may have sent him in again. He doesn't need that. Anyway glad to know you are well at the moment. Thats all we can say isn't it. At the moment. You take care. Mavis. X

I've been on O2 for many years, I have had levels while doing things drop as low as 71%and it is agony at those levels, but while at rest it could go as high 91%.If however there is sickness or a cold or a cough this affects levels in many ways. Respiration is a clue breathing fast etc.in some people blue is not always the sign, for some people go( pink )Oxymiters are handy to have . But don't worry too much .main thing is for him not to over do things. Lucky he has you . I am single and have no one. Keep in touch with the nurse .bless you


Hi there oxytic very interesting you saying about some go pink ,many years back my first consultant I had said there were two types of people some would be 'blue bloaters' and the others would be 'pink puffers' haha think im a pink puffer! :) Janexx

Hi there longlungs; Yes that's true read a book about copd etc. by a doctor called Taylor and he talked about 'blue bloaters' and 'pink puffers' both suffer the same lack of oxygen but show it differently . So some could be led to believe that the one who is pink is showing a healthy appearance which would be a serious mistake! overlooked in the past and even today. Take care Carers make a Note. Bless you all


Oh Oxytic! I am so sorry you have to deal with your illness all by yourself. Thanks for posting. I have contacted the Respiratory Nurse and hope she gets back to me in the morning. You take care. Mavis.

Sorry to find that you have to deal with your ill health alone. Like yourself I have been on 02 a few years but am lucky enough to have a wonderful wife who is truly an angel not only for me but a daughter suffering with Ataxia.

Myself? I am not even safe enough to make a pot of tea so I more than sympathise with how you feel particularly on a bad day.

Hope you have a gentle day.

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Hi Eighty plus. It is my Husband who has Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. I am his carer. He doesn't know and doesn't want to know how to use a computer so I have learnt to use it. I am still not brilliant. He has only been on oxygen for about eight weeks. They have not given him a very good prognosis. He has had Pulmonary Fibrosis for at least four years now. Maybe more. This chest infection has made his oxygen levels even worse. I just hope it isn't permanent. How are you now? I'm sorry to hear both you and your Daughter are not well. It's hard work looking after you men but we manage. I'm not sure what Ataxia is for your Daughter but I will certainly look it up and when I speak to you again I will know. Thanks for your post. Please post again. Mavis.

I am on oxygen for mobility. Below 88 at rest and oxygen is usually supplied for rest also. The main problem is the strain on the heart low oxygen gives. i found out after doing some damage to the right side of mine. so glad to see you are seeing the nurse...

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Thanks for that Derrylynne. I keep telling my Husband not to struggle going to the loo or whatever without his oxygen. I have just read him your post. Perhaps he will listen now. It went down to 75 last night when he didn't use it. He needed someone else to say. Thanks again.

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I use my oxygen for everything but watching the tv or like now on the computer. Going to the loo, dressing, undressing, bathing, going to the loo, anything at all that requires moving he should have the oxygen on. If your husband is anything like me as soon as he moves his sats drop through the floor. Hope that helps.


Hi Derrylynne. I have just read your post to him again. Lets hope he takes note. I caught him again just now going to the bathroom without it and told him off. Thanks again. Mavis.


My Doctor have always used 90 as a low baseline......I am on end stage COPD use O2 24/7 at 3 literss

Hi johnjay. Thanks for your post. My Husbands oxygen is quite low he has just taken it at rest and it is 85. I have told him it should be up in the 90s. I think he may have to get a re-assessment. Mavis.

Hi i don't need oxygen on a regular basis at the moment but when my levels drop to 90 and lower it means I'm having a lung attack or an exasabation where i need to call the Paramedics out to give me oxygen to raise my levels....i have asked for oxygen but they say i don't need it...i can't win. But below 90 is low

With pulmonary fibrosis I use supplemental O2 when stats read below 88. My pulmonologists agree. When O2 levels drop the heart works harder and if your oximeter shoes pulse rate you see a rise in pulse when levels are low. What we are trying to avoid is damage to the other organs in our body from low O2. Since your husband was hospitalized I wonder if they gave him a few days of prednisone? Pulmonary Fibrosis is a tough disease. My mother and my uncle died from it. I'm over 8 years and started supplemental oxygen this year. I watch my level of oxygen very closely. Hope that was helpful. Leslie

Hi Laddieday.

I'm sorry to say my Husband lost the fight one year and four months ago. You have somehow got into a post that is two years old. Thanks for your input anyway. They did give my Husband Prednisolone when he was in hospital and again as he was having infections at home. His lungs eventually closed nearly over and his heart gave out. I had kept texting the respiratory nurse to sat his oxygen levels were too low but didn't get any sense back. In the end I asked for an oxygen review. It was then he went on 24 hours of oxygen. I knew it was too low but I don't think they knew enough about it to worry. I did the worrying instead. Mavis.

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