Blood Oxygen

This last weekend I was under the weather. Intense sinus pressure, 102.9 temps, and eventually reduced lung capacity. I generally fight off bugs without meds, but this one lasted longer than I liked, so I visited my doc. He listened to my lungs and radioed the nurse to run a Pulse Oximeter on me. She came in the examination room in less than a minute with a little non-invasive finger clip device. Within seconds, I found out my Blood Oxy was 94%.

Maybe it's the engineer in me, but I was fascinated by how this thing worked. I found a nice one-pager on the history and theory of operation (see below). I also found out that normal is 97-99%, and below 90% suggest possible need for ventilator support.... Which is why I was given a short term protocol of Prednisone along with some antibiotics. Just 24 hours later I feel great!

Comments:

I think my wife had the same bug. Hope you feel better now.

Posted by Marc Hamilton on February 08, 2005 at 12:20 PM EST #

Thanks Marc! Much better now. I just heard today that when Social Security was first introduced in the 1930s, that the average life span of an American male was only 47. In other words, Uncle Sam didn't expect to actually pay out SS for most. That was before the 1940s ramp of injectable antibiotics (oral antibiotics didn't come into play until the 60s). Today, the average lifespan is 77. I can relate... I felt like I'd be lucky to make 47 Sunday night. Today, I'm betting on better than average :-) Cheers!

Posted by Dave Brillhart on February 08, 2005 at 02:41 PM EST #

What brand of Pulse Oximeter would you recommend? Does the purchase require a Doctors prescription? I have been searching the internet for one that doesn't cost an arm and leg to purchase. I checked with a local RT and was quoted about $600. I am a 70 year old female with COPD. Life time of smoking. Any information would be appreciated. Thank you, Millie

Posted by Millie Wells on November 30, 2005 at 11:08 PM EST #

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