Determining proper blood oxygen level for an active lifestyle

What Should My Oxygen Level Be?

Do you know if your supplemental oxygen levels are healthy for you? Many people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, have lower than normal oxygen levels and may not even know it. Proper blood oxygen levels with an oxygen concentrator ensure that your tissues and organs function at the optimal level. If your blood oxygen levels drop, this could lead to other medical complications including hypertension and polycythemia (increased red blood cells in the body).

Measuring Blood Oxygen Level

Your doctor can measure how much oxygen is in your blood via an artery or an arterial blood gas. The normal range of oxygen saturation in the blood as measured by the arterial blood gas is between 75 to 100 millimeters of mercury. Anything below 60 generally requires the use of supplemental oxygen.

You may also get an estimation of your blood oxygen levels using a pulse oximeter. This is a unit that can be attached to your finger to measure the saturation of oxygen in your blood. If using the pulse oximeter, normal oxygen saturation measures at about 95% to 100%. Anything below 90% is considered to be dangerously low and requires supplemental oxygen.

 Arterial Blood Gas Oxygen Saturation Pulse Oximeter Oxygen Saturation
Normal Blood Oxygen Level 75-100 95-100%
Low Blood Oxygen Level 0-60 0-90%

Low blood oxygen saturation can be dangerous if your organs and cells aren’t getting enough oxygen.

How to Maintain Safe Blood Oxygen Levels

You need to communicate with your doctor about your blood oxygen level once you have a prescription for supplemental oxygen. If you find that your oxygen level is falling below the healthy rate, then you must let your doctor know so that he can adjust your oxygen flow rate.

It is of the utmost importance that patients with COPD and others who are on supplemental oxygen learn how to use their oxygen device properly. Doing so will help to increase your survival as well as your quality of life with COPD. Most doctors recommend that patients use their supplemental oxygen for at least 15 hours per day to get the most benefits. If you find that you are having difficulty understanding how to use your device or adjusting the nasal cannula, please ask your doctor or a trusted health professional to support you in making adjustments.

Living with COPD? Enjoy increased mobility and a better quality of life with a lightweight Portable Oxygen Concentrator.

Adjusting Oxygen Levels

Patients should never adjust their oxygen levels without first getting a consultation with a doctor. Some patients do have difficulty using supplemental oxygen in the first few weeks of use and should expect an adjustment period. However, if you find that you are not able to stick to the prescription, get in contact with your doctor for other solutions. It is possible to find an alternative solution to deliver the oxygen you need to maintain your wellbeing.

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