Oxygen saturation refers to the extent of which hemoglobin is saturated with oxygen. Hemoglobin is the iron-containing pigment in red blood cells which carries oxygen from the lungs to the tissues. The normal oxygen saturation level is generally between 95-100%, however, for those with COPD, many can function adequately with a saturation level of 90% or above.
When prescribing home oxygen therapy, your doctor may also prescribe pulse oximetry readings. A pulse oximeter is a non-invasive device that measures oxygen saturation levels in the blood. Patients who are on home oxygen are sometimes advised to adjust their oxygen rate of flow according to their pulse oximetry readings. But what about those patients who don't have a monitor? For them, are oxygen saturation levels just a game of Russian roulette? Hopefully not.
If you don't have a pulse oximeter, you should think about purchasing one. If you don't already have a prescription for one, ask your doctor to write one. There are many insurance plans that will reimburse with a doctor's order.
To find a portable, pulse oximeter check your local medical supply retailer or compare prices online:
Need more information about oxygen therapy and oxygen safety tips? Read more: