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If you had high blood pressure and were on blood pressure medication, wouldn't you want to know what your blood pressure was before taking medication to lower it? While many people have home blood pressure monitors to check their blood pressure, a vast majority who are on supplemental oxygen for COPD or other chronic illnesses, are unaware of their oxygen saturation levels.

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:

Pulse Oximeter Monitors: Compare prices

Need more information about oxygen therapy and oxygen safety tips? Read more:

Oxygen Therapy: What you Need to Know

January 14, 2013 at 9:44 pm
(1) http://tinyurl.com/satggiles05171 says:

Your own blog post, _Oxygen Therapy: Are
You in Control?_ was well worth writing a comment on!
Merely needed to mention u really did a terrific job. Thank you ,Otto

January 25, 2013 at 12:53 am
(2) copd says:

Thanks, that is an old one, I’ll have to go back and read it.

January 25, 2013 at 8:11 am
(3) http://tinyurl.com/womehorn45875 says:

I personally really want to save this post, _Oxygen Therapy: Are You
in Control?_ on my personal webpage. Would you care in the event I actuallydo it?

Regards -Sherry

February 2, 2013 at 2:27 pm
(4) copd says:

Sherry, as long as you give me credit for the article, write only a short portion of it on your website and put a link back to my article for them to read the whole thing, you can put it on your website. The blurb, however, cannot be word for word as once I write something and submit it to About.com, it is no longer owned by me, but by About.com and copying word for word would be borderline copyright infringement.

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