Pulse Oximeters and Oxygen Concentrators: What to Know About At-Home Oxygen Therapy


illustration of a man seated using a oxygen concentrator and hand with index finger inserted into a pulse oximeter


To endure, we will need oxygen likely from our lungs to the cells in our physique. At times the sum of oxygen in our blood can slide beneath typical degrees. Bronchial asthma, lung cancer, persistent obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the flu, and COVID-19 are some of the wellness challenges that may bring about oxygen degrees to fall. When the degrees are as well reduced, we may will need to get additional oxygen, identified as oxygen treatment.

One particular way to get additional oxygen into the physique is by applying an oxygen concentrator. Oxygen concentrators are health care devices required to be offered and utilised only with a prescription.

You should really not to use an oxygen concentrator at house except if it has been prescribed by a wellness treatment supplier. Giving you oxygen without the need of talking to a physician initial may do extra damage than great. You may close up getting as well substantially or as well minor oxygen. Determining to use an oxygen concentrator without the need of a prescription can lead to major wellness challenges this sort of as oxygen toxicity brought about by acquiring as well substantially oxygen. It can also lead to a delay in acquiring remedy for major ailments like COVID-19.

Even however oxygen makes up about 21 % of the air around us, respiratory significant concentrations of oxygen may damage your lungs. On the other hand, not receiving sufficient oxygen into the blood, a affliction named hypoxia, could damage the coronary heart, brain, and other organs.

Locate out if you genuinely will need oxygen treatment by examining with your wellness treatment supplier. If you do, your wellness treatment supplier can identify how substantially oxygen you should really get and for how long.

What do I will need to know about oxygen concentrators?

Oxygen concentrators get in air from the place and filter out nitrogen. The course of action presents the increased quantities of oxygen required for oxygen treatment.

Concentrators may be large and stationary or tiny and transportable. Concentrators are various than tanks or other containers giving oxygen due to the fact they use electrical pumps to concentrate the steady offer of oxygen that will come from the surrounding air.

You may have seen oxygen concentrators for sale on the net without the need of a prescription. At this time, the Fda has not authorised or cleared any oxygen concentrators to be offered or utilised without the need of a prescription.

When applying an oxygen concentrator:

  • Do not use the concentrator, or any oxygen product, near an open up flame or whilst cigarette smoking
  • Place the concentrator in an open up house to decrease prospects of system failure from overheating
  • Do not block any vents on the concentrator considering that it may influence system general performance
  • Periodically check out your system for any alarms to make guaranteed you are receiving sufficient oxygen.

If you are prescribed an oxygen concentrator for persistent wellness challenges and have modifications in your respiratory or oxygen degrees, or have indications of COVID-19, contact your wellness treatment supplier. Do not make modifications to the oxygen degrees on your own.

How are my oxygen degrees monitored?

Oxygen degrees are monitored with a tiny system named a pulse oximeter, or pulse ox.

Pulse oximeters are put on a finger, toe or brow and use beams of mild to indirectly evaluate the amount of oxygen in the blood.

What do I will need to know about pulse oximeters?

As with any system, there is usually a risk of an inaccurate reading. If you are applying a pulse oximeter to keep an eye on your oxygen degrees and are involved about the reading, get hold of a wellness treatment supplier. And do not rely only on a pulse oximeter. It is crucial to keep track of your indications, or how you feel. Contact a physician if your indications are major or get worse.

When applying a pulse oximeter:

  • Sit still and do not transfer the part of your physique where by the pulse oximeter is
  • Do not use the system on your palms when your palms are cold
  • Take away all fingernail polish if applying the system on your palms.

If you skilled a challenge or damage that you think may be related to a pulse oximeter or oxygen concentrator, you can voluntarily report it by the FDA’s MedWatch program.