British Lung Foundation
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I would like to test my blood/oxygen level in different situations ,is it dear to buy the device the doctor uses by placing it on a finger

I have c.o.p.d and get out of breath very quickly. My blood/oxygen is 94 when sitting in the doctors surgery but is it possibly dropping down at all other times. If this is the case and not enough oxygen is going from the lungs to keep the level at 94 would it be worth trying breathing in pure oxygen from a can to see if this helped in any way. I saw another device on morning t.v it was called airnergy and was being claimed by a doctor chris as being able to help some c.o.p.d sufferers and was wondering if anybody had heard of it or maybe tried it, something to do with killing free radicals.

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34 Replies

IT is called an oximeter and in the US we can buy them for $50.00 US dollars. I have had one for years and you would be amazed how our oxygen level changes when we sit, lie down, stand, walk, run, etc. If your oxygen is 94 sitting I bet it drops below 89 when you exert yourself. Breathing in oxygen for 2 minutes won't help you much. Your body needs to stay above 88 to prevent damage to your vital organs. Some of us use it 24/7 for that reason. They will argue with you and say you shouldn't and they even go so far as to recommend that COPD patients keep the oxygen level under 92% I strongly disagree and keep miine over over 92% at all times. I figure I've been wearing it for over 6 years and probably know better than they do. I would have died of heart failure if I listened to them. I'm not big on doctors.


what do they say the logic is to keeping it under 92% ?!!! my nurse was pleased that mine was higher than his !

How do you keep your oxygen above 92%? Do you take in oxygen at home?

Cans of oxygen seem to be getting very popular with the celebrities among us. Looking at the price of them a rather expensive way to get your O2. However, the relationship between breathing and oxygen is much more complex than many people realise. Many do not realise that O2 alone does not stop you being breathless and if you are a co2 retainer could make things worse.

My oxygen sats are usually around 92% when seated doing nothing but reading or watching the television. Get up and move around, go for a short slow walk, and my sats drop remarkably. And I guess yours do too. That is the way with copd. Nothing in itself to worry about., Mine drop as low as 79% when I do one particular exercise and about 82% on a slow walk. But I never worry as once I stop and rest, up they go again.

My guess is the doctor has the same view. That your sats are a reasonable 94% at rest and although they will drop on exercise of any kind, they will pop up again when you rest.

Getting out of breathe on exertion is a way of life with copd, and in my mind is better to learn how to handle it then any can of very expensive oxygen. If you have not already been on a course ask your doctor about being put forward for a course of pulmonary rehabilitation. That will show you the way to handle your breathlessness and ways to keep fit to allow you to do more. Hope this goes some way to answering your question.


I bought one from Amazon a few months ago for £20. My readings are about the same as derrylynne. My sats at rest are about 92 though. I find it very helpful to keep an eye on my blood/oxygen level. They also have a pulse reader. My pulse at the moment is 91. Oxygen 90. At rest that is.

I paid around £40 for my oxymeter - ebay have lots !


type in e bay oximeter or oxymeter and you can buy them from £16. also they make one like a wrist watch with a finger probe for around £60 . i have bought one for £19 its just the same results as the one i paid £86. so shop around

Hi Stitch, Derek no doubt will be along shortly to advise on this, what I think is, its dangerous for anyone just to go along and buy oxygen cylinders. You need an oxygen prescription, the prescription is unique for each patient. The oxygen suppliers in UK are those who have entered into a contract with specic health authorities any supply of oxygen to patients is in line with that prescribed for each individual patient.

The cans being referred to are not prescribed oxygen. The oxygen in a can is a recreational drug.

Oxygen is a drug.

LOL - that made me smile ;)

I should have said 'Oxygen is a drug' (anything in addition to the air we breathe ;) )

I, like you have been keen to buy an oxymeter for some time and have found some good deals on the internet, however I have just spent 2 weeks in hospital COPD and a fractured disc through osteoporosis, all due to steroids of course. I was advised not to get a meter as it makes you to aware of the readings and you become hooked on the results. Well the more I think about it they are right, i am not ready yet I dont think to worry about my level;s all the time so now just keep check on nail beds, do all the exercises I am able, ( not many at the present time) and make sure I control my breathing the best i can. Now I am not saying in a years time I will not be buying one I just feel knowing me I would panic and start seeing things that are not there.

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Thanks for the reply Stitch, I agree that each of us has a way of coping, I know I got totally obsessed with knowing my levels and afterwards realised that I was wasting a lot of time worrying over very little. I do agree with you it is better to now were you are and how you are doing but I think at this present time it is best I rely on my instincts, sounds corny doesn't it! were we live we are very lucky although in a village close to a wonderful hospital and all COPD patients that become regulars know that they only have to phone or arrive and they will be seen. Kind Regards, have a BE weekend.

Amazon have loads for around the £20 mark

I share stitches concerns, why do we have to wait to be tested for o2, did you get your cylinders in the uk Derek ? are you from america

As many have said before, you can buy a finger pulse oximeter, they range in price. Your doctors one is likely to be a top of the range oximeter and quite costly. Some of the more affordable priced once can be just as accurate, you can check for accuracy against your doctors once you buy one. You will then be able to keep track of your oxygen levels throughout the day. Ask your doc also about what safe measurements are for your blood oxygen levels using the pulse oximeter.

To get accurate blood oxygen readings your doc will have to arrange for you to get an arterial blood gas test done, your doc will only arrange this if he suspects you are experiencing low blod oxygen levels. If this is the case you will be Prescribed oxygen therapy that is correct for you.

I wouldn't go near oxygen in a can and I believe the air energy thing is around £2,000, I asked my doc about this and was met with a shaking of the head.

Lack of oximeters in primary care risks increasing the mortality from COPD

A. Davison, D. Powrie, E. Paddison (Southend on Sea, United Kingdom)

The above paper, presented September last year, noted that .... "a lack of oximeters in primary care risks increasing morbidity from COPD"

to summarise the survey found that ;

33% of practices do not have a pulse oximeter

40% of practices have just one, shared with other GP's and nurses

23% said they would like to have one

6.6% thought an oximeter was not necessary!

Buy one yourself...soooo slow with info.

That is shocking thought that it was not worth worrying about when doctors are paid to do that would have thought enough with bad lungs they would buy some

I brought one for my Dad .It helps put his mind at rest .Mind you i get abit obsessed with it ! i even tried it on the dog ,when i ran out of people in the house to put it on !lol

there is a very helpful article on O2 on this site.www.emphysema-copd

I wonder if that information is influenced by USA Stitch, it sounds like the patients makes the decision to buy their own oxygen, based on what another patient said !! That's a bit pot luck and dangerous when oxygen has not been prescribed to the individual patient.

Hopefully anyone reading that and taking the information literally will be first discussing the situation with their doctor.

People should only use oxygen as prescribed to them.

have to agree with Zoee on that one - even healthy adults with normal sats of 95% and above will have drops of a few % each night, so to say ..."94% or even higher...." is a tad exaggerated and alarmist. Right too that people should use their oxygen as prescribed to them - too much is as harmful as too little. Perhaps you should check with your prescriber exactly what your prescription is - ie. what flow rate you should be on, for what use / hours per day it is meant for. That way you will have a much clearer picture of things. It really should all have been explained to you at time of prescribing. P.

After a dreadful flu that really scared me, I bought an oximeter - (from to monitor

Pulse Oximeter OctiveTech 300CSE - Heavy Duty (OctiveTech-C201) = £63.85 with Carry Case)

and Airnergy machine - very dear and good - makes oxygen more quickly available - we apparently get around 25% useful oxygen from breathing and only 19% when on a plane, this device increases usable oxygen apparently - got from My oxygen level is regularly 96/7 now and recovers fast to this level after being out of breath. Pretty sure it helps. If anyone lives near me in north wales you can try it out here. ask doc first though

Before that, after one emergency dash to hospital, I got 2 small oxygen cans from Oxyfit and swear these saved me when the Docs were closed and I was snowbound during the worst exacerbation...they helped me get enough breath to use my emergency inhaler.

Seems like co2 retention can be a problem with high oxygen sat level ?-i didn't know that and still don't know the symptoms - apparently you get tested for co2 retention only when oxygen level is low which would echo this study :// that suggests exercise increases co2 retention (as oxygen levels go down and even though PR is good for us), also found this PLEASE CAN BLF staff can advise us on this.

I believe EVERY person diagnosed with COPD should test their oxygen level while walking. Letting your oxygen level drop below 88% will damage your heart and lead to congestive heart failure which causes more deaths than COPD itself. When I go to the pulmonary doctor's office (the US) he is adamant about keeping my oxygen level no lower than 90% and ideally over 95%. If you don't retain CO2 I strongly urge you to follow my example if you want to avoid damage to your vital organs. You have to take charge of your own condition because no one else will. I too have read these articles and have even been scolded by nurses for keeping my oxygen level over 92%. I do what helps me feel better and so far I've been doing this for over 6 years. My grandmother died of COPD in the 1971. She died at age 62 of Congestive Heart Failure because in her day they only gave you oxygen when you were near the end.

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interesting :) I agree and know I feel better with a higher oxygen %. So it concerned me to learn about CO2 retention. Do you know how to know if you have or have not got this ? ta Julie

When its gone you will have nothing to complain about apart from the inability to get treatment because you can't pay. Be careful what you wish for.

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Julie - The only way to learn if you retain CO2 is to request an ABG (arterial blood gas) test. They take some blood from your the arterial vein on your wrist and measure the amount of CO2. Do what makes you feel better. A person with normal lung function has an oxygen level of 95-100% so why anyone thinks that people with compromised lungs only needs 90% is beyond me. When I attended Pulmonary Rehab they would stop you from exercising when your oxygen dropped to 90% so I don't see why anyone would willingly allow their bodies to be deprived of oxygen.

I have an oxy meter and it has caused the mother of wars between myself and my consultant, he reckons that only those used in hospitals are correct i begged to differ , i have been very breathless for the last year and blew a FEV of 43 last week when i saw the consultant i have also a very high pulse rate when im active 160, what was i offered as a means of help PR , now im not knocking PR but whats the point when your pulse is so hight they sit you down after a min or so because your pulse is high ? i felt like i was distrupting the class by doing this .

I confess a month ago i bought a can of oxygen just five litrers i went with my husband in the car to a supermarket i took this oxygen before i went in, it was bliss i was not breathless nor was my pulse high . i did every isle in the market i could breath , we got back in the car and i cried i have not been able to breath like that for a long time .

I have not bought one since but im breathless again very breathless, i think if i had took a can of this before PR i would have done it no probs, to cut a long story short my husband has had to fight my consultant by demanding i get blood gas test that is going ahead on Wednesday, now if something comes out of that such as carbon dioxide levels raised then i think the consulant will not know where to look if nothing comes out of it then all well and good at least i know , but what bothers me is this, it seems that PR is taking the place of clinical testing on people with COPD , an oxy meter does not give all the results a blood gas test does i think anyone with servere COPD should be given one as mandotary PR is not always the answer .

Well well my little oxy meter gave the same readings as the medical one my nurse had at the hospital today , Gill 1 Consultant 0, he he he he.

xx Gill

Go on amazon I bought mine for under £20 and with copd sats should be between 88-92 Drs think that a good level but each person is different some can quite happily function on less

While in critical condition in hospital with respiratory failure type two, I could not have oxygen as it would have made my situation much worse and even killed me. Many people unfortunately can't have oxygen. I can't imagine a can of oxygen doing much good or harm but you'll find this is not the first product Dr Chris has endorsed that's of little or no use. He pops up often in adverts. He's a rich man!

Hiya, just wanted to say that Airnergy machine isn't a bottle of oxygen. I could attempt to explain it but... well all I know is that it works and that's good enough for me! I've been using it for huge amounts lf time for well over a year now. (Up to 24/7 most days) Oxygen is not safe for everyone to use as others have noted, but Airnergy is, because it isn't oxygen, it just helps your body use the oxygen already present in the air more effectively. I don't have copd. But I have Asthma with no inhalers after my body refused to let me have them anymore! No reliever inhaler is absolutelt terrifying! The stuff of nightmares, anyway I'm still here coz of the Airnergy pretty much all day everyday! I really deteriorate without it.

I'm sure if it can help me this much then it must be able to help others struggling with their lungs too. Incidentally I also have m.e/c.f.s and have found that the machine helps with recovery times after exertion. But even before my inhaler problem happened to me, I found that I would need to use the Airnergy for longer than the normal recommended time. From my personal experience of it I'd say very much that you need to tailor it to your own body.

Keep smiling - coz we're still here to do it ;-D

Amazon £24.99, cheap as chips and a life saver. My dad is quite ill with his COPD but it helps to see if he needs a little but of 02 or not, it's inly a rough guide but a good indicator!!! Well worth the money. :))

I brought mine on ebay foe 29 dollars australian and got it in 3 days and no shipping costs . I live in Australia

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Dear Rainy, i live in Australia too and am looking to buy an Oxymeter as well. Would you mind telling me which make and model you bought please.And can you tell me, can you use this while walking too?And how has it been working , has it been accurate.? My brother bought me one off the internet , which wasn't very accurate, and broke quickly.That's why i am asking for the info.Thanks if you can help me i would be so grateful.

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