If you will be joining my COPD Success program, I will ask you to get a pulse oximeter. If you have never had a 6 minute walk test, or don’t have a regular doctor, it is very important to know your baseline.
There are many people who should be on supplemental oxygen, but are not. If you buy a pulse oximeter and find that your saturations are less than 88% at rest, you will need to go see a doctor to get a prescription for oxygen.
If you don’t have access to a doctor or clinic, please consider joining as a COPD Success member, for your health’s sake! Meanwhile, here’s what you can do:
First, buy a hospital grade pulse oximeter. You can buy these through my online store, through E Bay, Amazon.com, even Craigslist. Some medical supply companies may carry them. A good one should run you about $100.
If that’s out of your budget, a cheapie one can be had for anywhere from $10 -30. There are a lot of cheap models out there, but I want you to know your accurate numbers. Oxygen saturation is a slippery slope when your levels are low. If your levels are low, we really need to know HOW low. Brand names such as Nonin and Nellcor are best.
Second, buy one that takes standard AAA or AA batteries. Nothing is as frustrating as trying to figure out which little expensive watch battery goes into your Pulse Ox.
Lastly, if you do buy a used one, clean it thoroughly with a disinfectant wipe such as Lysol before you use it!