Hi Everyone, had a Oxygen assessment at home today, my sats were taken after I had let the nurse in it was 88%

They came back up to 92% then asked to walk to kitchen they didn't go down..I live in bungalow and it's only a few yards ... So I don't have to see nurse again. I'm happy not to have oxygen but I have no faith in her assessment and I'm not sure but thought she could be healthcare assistant as she wore a lilac uniform... She was supposed to be nurse specialist... Is this the normal home assessment. I have severe copd with a fev35 and am going for assessment for transplant. Thanks for reading

26 Replies

I see that you are a newcomer, Nanaden, so welcome. I think you have some questions to be answered. Best thing is to ring the BLF nurse - see "about us" on blue bar above. Maybe someone else will come forward and be better help than me.

I agree the NHS uniforms are very anonymous and give no proof of the standing of the person wearing them. I hope that someone with more knowledge than me, will come forward. Good luck xx

Thanks for your welcome and reply.. Maybe I'm just being silly... Will ask the BLF nurse. X

Hi NanaDen, as far as I know most oxygen assessments are carried out doing a 6 minute walk test. You walk for 6 minutes on level ground while a respiratory nurse measures your oxygen levels and measures the distance you cover.

If your sats drop below 86 then they repeat the test with you using oxygen and adjust as necessary. I really don't know what they could learn from a steady walk to the kitchen unless they think you never intend on leaving your home.

I have done the transplant assessment and was placed on the transplant list afterwards so if I can help in anyway feel free to ask


Thank you for reply... It would be very helpful to be able to ask you questions on transplant assessment... I feel very frustrated with today's test... I live in a small 1 bed bungalow and it was only seconds for the walk.but was carrying a empty cup. No oxygen present.. In fact only a pulse oximeter...

Hello Nanaden would like to welcome you to this friendly forum.What you see here tonight is not the norm i have never seen this before so please dont be put off.Im not a user of oxygen so am unable to help you but young Tony (Dall05) knows lots to do with all things on that subject aswell as transplant issues.Nice meeting you Nanaden see you soon :) Janexx

Welcome to the forum. I saw my community respiratory nurse last week and she's booking me in for an oxygen assessment, she said it's a blood test like when they do the blood gas from your wrist.

Kim xxx

If your test is called an O2 assessment I'm confused that the nurse describes its as a blood test, unless by that she means that you will be wearing a pulse oximeter on your finger - this monitors your blood through your fingernail (so good not to wear nail varnish that day!) The assessment is normally as Dall05 describes it above, though i think my respiratory team would take 88% as the cutoff for re-resting, not 86% but i guess different teams vary. Good idea to call BLF helpline for clarification as suggested above.

Thanks for all the warm welcomes and replies... Need to phone BLF nurses and find out what tests I should get at oxygen assessment. Xx

Denise x

Found this BLF booklet very useful. blf.org.uk/Files/871c8938-a...

Welcome Nanaden. I can't help with oxygen queries so just saying a warm hello :)

Welcome to this lovely group.

My oxygen assessments have always been carried out in hospital. Usually doing a six minute walk without oxygen, have a ret, then another six minute walk with oxygen.

The last one I had they did four walks with me as my oxygen requirement had gone up and they needed to really check.

When my Respiratory Nurse comes to do a home visit, she still gets me to walk around the bungalow to check my SATS. They keep on dropping into the 70's whenever I move around but steady up to the low 90's once I sit and relax. I use Ambulatory oxygen.

A Healthcare Assistant should not be carrying out assessments I would have thought. Next time someone comes out to your home, you could maybe ask them who they are and what they are.

You are entitled to know.


Phoned today she is a oxygen therapist what ever that is.. Thank you for you reply it all helps me to understand COPD a bit better.. I've not been able to leave the house since September 2013 was hoping to get free with some Ambulatory oxygen...my life is so limited. My Fev 1 is 34% and my TLco is very low at 39%.. My sats were taken after spirva and inhaler... Denise xx

Some people only have oxygen for 'at rest/sleeping'; some have it for ambulatory (out and about) only and some have it for both. My o2 assessment was done in two stages to check at rest oxygen and then ambulatory.

First stage - check o2 in nearlobe blood on air, sitting. This was 88%. Then blood gasses walking around room on no air, 84%, then see how long it takes to return to 'normal' 88%. Then check all again while on oxygen, increasing the flow until earlobe blood shows reading at circca 92%. This gave my oxygen requirement for 'at rest' oxygen to use around the house while doing gentle tasks. (5Lpm)

Second stage - ambulatory oxygen for out and about. I had/have an active lifestyle and spend a lot of time out and about. A 6 minute walking test showed my sats dropping way down when I 'put on a spurt' and earlobe tests showed I need 8Lpm to keep my oxygen high enough to keep active.

What you had does not seem to me to be a proper oxygen assessment. However the parameters are between 88% and 92%. Your sats dropped to 88% and returned to 92% quickly after excersise (walk to the door).Those numbers were within the parameters so you probably don't need oxygen. But this is only my opinion. I would phone BLF for more experienced advice or speak to your GP and ask why you didn't have a blood test during your o2 assessment.

An oxygen nurse specialist would have told you clearly that is who she was, given you a card with her details on it. They do do home visits if necessary. My one wears her own clothes, no uniform, but others wear uniforms.

Sorry Therese you have said that pretty much already!

Thanks for replying... I understand a lot better since I've had feedback

from everyone. Had a blood test that they took from my wrist and consultant took my sats which was 87 at rest... They have been as low as 81.... I read today guidelines are 88 to 92 so at least something was perfect... It's good to hear other experiences to know what to expect.


Hi NanaDen, when they took your arterial blood (wrist), did you have a local anaesthetic? I had this done for first time ever just before xmas and was dreading it as had heard how painful it was, but i was given a local and it didn't hurt one bit. I don't know if this is usual as I've heard so many stories of pain.

I had no anaesthetic... It was painful but not as much as I had been told.. I would be ok having another one. Xxx

No local anaesthetic given. I have never known it being done before, even when I was working (I was a Nurse).

It's a weird kind of pain. The worst part is when they are 'searching' for the artery (needle down in your wrist). I just start going, 'ooh, ooh, ohh' then with luck the blood starts to flow. I have had two tests where there was no discomfort at all but three that were just that bit uncomfortable.

I am a baby when it comes to pain - much prefer being on the Nursing side of things then!!! lol


Sounds better with anaesthetic... The nurse had attempt at both wrists then the consultant took over and he managed to get blood sample. So I had 3 at once..

Hi Nanaden and welcome to the site. Like some of the others on here I do not use oxygen and have Pulmonary Fibrosis not Copd, so I am sorry that I cannot help you this time. However I think everyone else has given you good advice. Cheryl

Thanks for all the welcomes..

a belated welcome nanden, i sincerely hope you will find most of your answers on this site,, i have lol:) hope things improve for you,, jimmy xxx

Thank you...my update...I contacted BLF and they pointed out 2 issues that need addressing..the first a oxygen assessment doesn't just mean a oximeter test. The second being the need to use oxygen to make sure my other organs are kept in good condition for transplant assessment.. Thank you all for your advice. I will let you know what happens... This is a great site x

hi again nannaden, so glad you contacted the blf. concerning your worry,

i can only give you my experience on oxygen,[ as i found out] there are many ways for this assessment,and can be quite complicated.

i had the same as you, until i was admitted to hospital where they monitored me, then quite simply found out what i had been saying for some time, that i needed at very least overnight oxygen and during the day, if needed, my oxygen levels were very erratic due to constant infections, at one time a gp [not my normal one] took my oxygen levels when i was being treated with an infection receiving steroids and anti-biotics, at the time he took it, it was 92, a few mins later i had my own oximetor on, which read 86, the doc said my oximeter was faulty, then began to check this with his, he was then surprised his read 86 as well, yet still nothing was done,[it was xmas eve and he was obviously in a hurry],,, in hosp it went to 79, then 81 during the night, it was then i received oxygen, i also had blood arterial gasses test taken , this is often described as sore, but really it didnt bother me too much really.

theres many on this forum far more experienced than me,and should help/advise, but glad at least you phoned the blf helpline.

good luck nana, and sincerely hope you get to the bottom of things,, kindest regards,,,jimmy

Thank you Jimmy.. It's a very long road to get the help we " know we need" this is the first time I've been told sats ok even my consultant not seen them higher than 87... I start to doubt the referel for transplant. Take care.. Denise

Hi Denise,just a quick Hallo & welcome! It looks as if you have had many helpful replys,so hope that makes you feel better about it all,take care,love Wendells xx

yes nanny, sometimes it is a really hard road, i sympathize with you, and understand your frustrations, i was much the same, ,, one wee oximeter reading means nothing really, no one seen me at night, [i live alone] gasping for air, waking up every few hours etc, my next clinic appoint ,,,then,,, was in july, it would have been then i probably would have been referred to the sleep clinic, probably waiting another few months!! however i took an infection/exacberation, which was obviously on the cards the way things were, it was then they did the tests and found out i needed oxygen,,,,and feel all the better for it too. but talk about frustration!!! so i know how you feel, i am prob. to old for a transplant, but if thats needed, you should, in my opinion be on the waiting list for this,, your own body tells you more than just an oximeter. however all that is not helping you, and things are easier said than done, i honestly dont know the proper route to take, but feel that maybe, you should be more firmer and demand a proper oxygen assessment , and even a second opinion, as this would obviously help, in your transplant, i am only a relatively poor chappy,and relatively new on the site, but wonder if its worth paying bupa for this, i really dont know, i just wish i could help more , but i do feel for you, and understand the terrible frustrations involved , at least your trying very hard, thats well seen, i can only hope/pray that things turn out for you, there will be better far more experienced members on here than me, they are all very good and know the ropes , so to speak, i sincerely hope things can be resolved quickly, it looks like you have learned much in a short time, at least that is an advantage in itself, ,, i have gone on a bit, but that is simply that i know the frustrations you are going through,and that in itself does you no good, ,, i do wish you well nanny, keep us posted on any progress,, kindest thoughts and regards,,,jimmy xx

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