Duff Oximeter? Oxygen?

I bought an oximeter from Amazon and it consistently reads low sat levels of 84% to 90 %. When it read 84% yesterday after a gruelling outing of brethlessness I made some phone calls. One to my GP who called me in and used his oximeter..it read 95%. Thus he wasn't alarmed but is having an ECG and blood test done on me as my heart rate is always 100+.

Are these publicly sold oximeter machines generally OK?

I'd also left a message at the hospital and a pulmonary nurse rang today to ask me to come in Friday for a walking test as to whether I need to be on oxygen. I think they will say I do.

This exacerbation is gong full speed it seems to me and I feel somewhat panicky. I'm going to spend two quiet days at home and see what Friday brings.

12 Replies

  • Hi Rob - your pulse ox should be fine - many doctors and nurses will have bought theirs on line from Amazon - if they have one at all. If you were seated and 'rested' when your GP tested you then it may be that you only de-saturate on exercise. At least you will be checked out now and will get some answers.

  • Thanks Stich & Parvati. I will take my meter along on Friday to check against the hospital one and return it if it is wildly out. I could do without inaccuracy! Plus I've never had a reading as good as 95% myself on it. It does seem to work OK with healthy people (bah!) giving normal readings.

    Didn't sleep much last night and will have a dressing gown day I think.


  • I think you are right Stitch, I was being impatient. I got a reading of 92% at rest yesterday. I found that the oximeter works better when sitting upright rather than slumped in the armchair. This reminds me of our fancy bathroom scales that won't work properly unless you stand just so on them!

  • Hi Rob, I bought an oximeter from amazon last week and not sure if mine is faulty. it takes ages to start showing a reading does yours switch on right away. Also i'm not sure if mine is accurate because when I am resting at95 i then walk upstairs and it drops to 83. I am on O2 6-8l continous and when I took my oxygen off to wash my hair and then took reading it was 76. I only bought it because i wanted to monitor my reading to see if i could ask for o2 to be lowered as worried on too high.

  • Sadie, I tested my oxymeter against my nurses at the Hospital to make sure it was accurate, and also found I desaturated a lot when walking upstairs (76%) or having a shower (64%). What we have to remember is that we need good oxygenation for a minimum of 15 hours a day (20 is better) and so it is perfectly fine for the readings to drop at times of extra exertion as long as they are not staying low.

  • An added difficulty rather than a help for you also then. Will check mine on Friday as people have advised. Perhaps not giving it enough time to settle in my case...I'll let you know what happens on here. Could do without this hassle myself though I will try another as it could be so useful. My one does take a while to start properly, just shows red bars at first.

  • Hi Sadie, my oximeter takes a while to settle, so thats normal I think. I too am like you and desaturate on exercise, so thats probably correct too. I am on o2 4L, but hey I don't take mine off to wash my hair, or go in the shower.

    Rob I would wait till friday, take your oxymeter with you and check it out. It shouldnt be more than 1% out either way. Good luck.

  • I have always found mine to be very accurate. And is about the same as those at the hospital. Like many I desaturate when I am on the move, often going down to just under 80. Many times I am at 84 but resting I am happily in the 90's.

  • Mine cost £20 from Amazon and has always been accurate. n fact I used in in hospital yesterday while they had theirs on and t read the same. Now and again I get my partner to read hers as it's always about 98% so I know my meter s working properly.

    I'd love 95% while resting ! Mine is still 84% and even with an Oxygen Cannula in it only went to 90%/92% I went to A&E as I was getting a bad pain in my chest which I put down to muscle strain because of the coughing. I was right but they found the infection I had a few days ago was still lingering so gave me a course of tablets. Best to get any chest problems sorted straight away I say !

  • Well, thanks all the rest of you also! I shall be patient till Friday and report back, it may be of help to some. Should I continue on this thread or start a new one?

  • Thanks to everyone for your helpful comments, ingy I will try leaving O2 on now when showering etc, didnt think I could so thanks for that.

  • Well, I took my Oximeter along to the hospital and it was completely in agreement with theirs so I am reassured on that. Looks like it was my technique that was wrong. It seems better if I'm not slumped in the armchair for a start and I wasn't giving it enough time at rest to give a true reading.

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