Confused after physio appointment over sats levels , can anyone clarify ??

Hi all . I went to physio yesterday for walking test , Told the physio that i now had an oximeter and was a bit concerned about the low readings i get at times ( 55% putting rubbish out is the lowest and another time 65% after walking from the bottom of the garden and it is regularly below what i thought was the lowest it could safely go at 85%. We almost had a stand up row over this , he said that they don't like people monitoring their own sats as it is a scientific measurement and can be influenced by all sorts of other things , the best reasonn of which was cold hands and low blood flow to fingers ( neither of which is the case with me ) . I am concerned that as i have had my lung condition for over 50 years i have become used to being sob and at risk of organ damage if my sats get too low . In the finish he said i should rest if i get severely out of breath ( which is pretty obvious and i do ) and that low sats are ok as everyone gets out breath when exercising , it's normal . I would normally ask the resp nurse for a second opinion but she , and the consultant , are on holiday .The walking test showed that i cannot do the 20 minute 1.5 mile per hour walk that was last ' prescribed ' and i now do 1.1 miles per hour for 20 minutes . I suppose what i would like to know is when can organ damage occur , if anyone has any idea i woukld much appreciate the info as i am getting stressed , something new to me as i am very calm . xxxx Dinny xxxx

12 Replies

  • Hi Dinny - its a pity you couldn't check your oximeter for accuracy against a medical professionals whilst you were doing the walk test. Does your GP surgery have a resident respiratory nurse that uses one so you could check yours for accuracy maybe? That would be the first thing I would do.

    Take care now

  • Hi Zoee , yes i did check my oximeter against the physio's and it was 2 % out also the heart rate was 6 above , obviously different finger but not sure it would make a difference , it is only a slight difference though it was at the same time , I have also been told that below 70% is unreliable so am just viewing it as too low generally . I am just concerned about damage to organs , i have had a lifetime of getting out of breath and recovering so that part isn't too much of an issue (though i am finding it takes longer to bounce back now i am older ) . Thanks for your reply xx . xxcxx Dinny xxxx

  • I think the best thing to do is ring the BLF helpline they are the experts.

    03000 030 555


  • Thanks Polly xxxx Dinny xxxx

  • Thanks Stitch xx, The physio tech i see is a bit of a bully so i am afraid my back is up as soon as he opens his mouth , i don't like bullies , he has had 4 women at rehab in tears recently , i always stand up to him if i am reasonably well and it seems to make him worse , perhaps i should change who i see . xxxx Dinny xxxx

  • Thank you Stitch , good point , i could do that alright xxxx Dinny xxxx

  • Contact PALS through the hospital or at good for you standing up for yourself and stop him treating other patients badly when they work for you.

  • Hi Aside , I will look up PALS but i live in Ireland so may not be one here , may be equivalent though xxxx Dinny xxxx

  • You might not be the only confused one with those readings hypoxemia is indicated it is unlikely they are accurate as you will loose consciousness before 55% in the majority of patients you are are also facing voiding your bladder and bowels at this point, if this is not happening then your readings will be causing confusion for both you and the physio. Accurate readings are a guide only to your oxygen saturation along with recovery times to normal levels, taking arterial blood gases is the only test that will clear this confusion it would be the safest thing to arrange these are carried out asap to clear this confusion hope this helps

  • Hi Hergernt , I have been told that readings below 70% are unreliable so am just taking them as too low , i do however nearly pass out and sometimes can't get to the loo so there is an element of that situation in it too . I am basically concerned about organ damage as i have coped nearly all my life with sob , i suppose i am also thinking that i am too used to feeling sob and don't even notice it until i am below 85% (this is at the hospital not just my own meter ) . Thanks for your reply , i will see GP about a blood test . xxxx Dinny xxxx

  • "is a bit of a bully so i am afraid my back is up as soon as he opens his mouth , i don't like bullies , he has had 4 women at rehab in tears recently , i always stand up to him if i am reasonably well and it seems to make him worse , perhaps i should change who i see"

    Dinny I think HE is in the wrong job love, you go there to be helped not shouted at, good on you girl for standing up to the bully.



  • Thank you Davybaby xx . Thinking about it i wonder if he is finding life difficult , it's often the way with bullies , but like you say , he is there to help me not stress me out . I just wanted a logical understandeable answer to my question about organ damage and what to do about the low readings , he did answer the latter i suppose by saying to rest and find an easier way to do things , which i already do . I suppose i just need help that isn't there !! , many thanks for your reply xx. xxxx Dinny xxxx

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