1. Patients launch $1.27 million crowdfunding campaign for ME/CFS gut microbiome study.
    Check out the website, Facebook and Twitter. Join in donate and spread the word!
Give ME the Money
Graham McPhee spells out some of the cold, hard facts about the dismal state of ME research and politics, and has some suggestions as to what we can do about it ...
Discuss the article on the Forums.

Pulse Oximeter Recommendation

Discussion in 'Autonomic, Cardiovascular, and Respiratory' started by JAH, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. JAH

    JAH Senior Member

    Messages:
    284
    Likes:
    166
    San Jose
    Hello friends,

    I have been using a Walgreens pulse oximeter, and it sucks. Very frequently have trouble getting a reading. I never have this problem with a pulse/ox at a doctors office. Can anyone recommend a reliable pulse/ox?

    Thanks,

    JAH
     
  2. SOC

    SOC Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,367
    Likes:
    6,465
    USA
    allyb, Little Bluestem and JAH like this.
  3. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senescent on the Illinois prairie, USA

    Messages:
    2,693
    Likes:
    2,027
    Midwest, USA
    They also don't work well if your hand is cold/circulation poor. Rubbing the finger can help. If the index finger does not work well, try the middle finger.
     
    allyb and JAH like this.
  4. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

    Messages:
    2,925
    Likes:
    2,061
    UK
    what a good buy - but not available in the UK:(
     
  5. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

    Messages:
    6,716
    Likes:
    10,224
    Amersfoort, Netherlands
  6. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

    Messages:
    2,925
    Likes:
    2,061
    UK
    Valentijn
    Is it easy to use? I mean really easy for an absolute technophobe?
     
  7. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

    Messages:
    6,716
    Likes:
    10,224
    Amersfoort, Netherlands
    Yup! It takes two AAA batteries, and you just stick your finger in and hit the white button to turn it on. Take your finger out, and it turns off after a second or two.
     
  8. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

    Messages:
    2,925
    Likes:
    2,061
    UK
    sounds easy -so getting the batteries is the hardest part.....
     
    Valentijn likes this.
  9. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

    Messages:
    7,299
    Likes:
    6,376
    Albuquerque
    SOC Valentijn

    How much and how do these help you? Does your reading vary a lot and does it correspond to your HR and/or BP?

    Thanks,
    Sushi
     
  10. SOC

    SOC Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,367
    Likes:
    6,465
    USA
    Mostly I use mine to determine when my BP and HR are stable enough in the morning to get up and get ready for the day. It takes about 45 minutes sitting up in bed -- after I wake up, take my Armour thyroid, Florinef and verapamil, and chug 500 ml of electrolyte drink -- before I can get consistent BP readings. My HR tracks that well enough for the purpose. I use the fingertip PO and check my HR every few minutes. Once it's been the same (within 1 bpm) for several minutes, I can be fairly confident my BP will be something stable and reasonable, too. Then I can take my morning BP and HR (as requested by my doc) and get up and get ready for my day.

    The other thing I use if for is similar to what I used to use the chestband HR monitor for. When I was more sick, ordinary things like walking across a room, or unloading the dishwasher would put me over my AT, so I needed the minute-by-minute monitoring (and the alarm) of my HR monitor to avoid overdoing. Now that it takes a lot more to go over my AT and I'm very familiar with how my HR adjusts with activity, I use the fingertip monitor for spot checks if I've been working more than usual or feel "off". I also routinely check my sitting, standing, and moving around in the house HR. Now that I know what they should be for me, these checks are a way to see if something is going south -- maybe I'm coming down with something or slightly but persistently overdoing. In those cases, my HR for those common activities increases by 5-10 bpm. When that happens, I know it's time to go into rest mode for a couple of days.
     
  11. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

    Messages:
    6,716
    Likes:
    10,224
    Amersfoort, Netherlands
    It seems to help a fair bit in avoiding crashes and similar worsening of how I feel. If I avoid extra activities when my heart rate is high, such as in the 95 range, then I can avoid aggravating symptoms.

    It can also help with determining how much of an effect an activity is having - for example, a bath can get my heart rate to 150 or higher, with it then staying at 115 for hours and 95 for days (this feels REALLY nasty - can't sleep when heart rate is that high). But if I'm very careful about pacing during my bath, I can keep it from getting as high, or staying elevated for as long.

    So if I'm not careful, my heart rate hits 150 or higher and I feel very sick after a bath, sometimes for a long time afterward. But if I go upstairs, lay down til heart rate is 85, rinse the tub and start the water running, lay down again until heart rate is 85, get in the tub and stay sitting in my slouched forward position until heart rate is stable (usually 95-100 at this point), then wash my hair, then rest until it's stable again, then do the conditioner, then slouch again, then dry off upper body a bit, rest a bit more, then get out, dry off, and lay down immediately until heart rate is stable under 90. That might require an hour or more of resting when getting out of the bath.

    Based on experience, I now know that f I can't get my heart rate down to 85 when resting, then I shouldn't be taking a bath. And if rush the bath, and go downstairs immediately instead of resting as soon as I get out of the bath, my heart rate will stay elevated for a very long time, with oxygen levels trying to dip (and sometimes succeeding).

    So basically I'm using it to see how badly an activity is impacting me, and how successful alternative approaches are. The weak point thus far is me not using it at times and continuing to push myself to hard when I really want to do something :p

    Another use I've put it to is seeing what happens when I lay down in different positions. For years I've felt like I can't breathe properly after half an hour or an hour on my right side or back, and the pulse oximeter confirms that my oxygen levels drop and/or pulse rises in those positions. Similarly, if I sit up leaning back slightly on the couch, I run into trouble, and do best if sitting slouched forward with my elbows resting on my legs.
     
    Sparrowhawk and rosie26 like this.
  12. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

    Messages:
    6,716
    Likes:
    10,224
    Amersfoort, Netherlands
    Something else I like about the pulse oximeter is that it's providing objective confirmation of how I'm feeling. After all the CBT and related brainwashing crap that we get, it's nice to have a little machine essentially saying "sit your butt back down, you're too sick to be doing this". It also makes it easier for me to decline to participate in an activity - I can blame the pulse oximeter instead of saying I just don't feel up to doing something :D
     
  13. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

    Messages:
    2,925
    Likes:
    2,061
    UK
    Valentijn
    Its incredible isn't it that this monitor can confirm how badly you feel your body is doing.Pity the docs can't use them.......
    do we honestly need to be told about pacing - your bathtime story is a classic of why we don't.
     
  14. Andrew

    Andrew Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,980
    Likes:
    1,274
    Los Angeles, USA
    I found these very difficult to research, and ended up buying one based one comment from a nurse in a chat room and the fact that this is supposedly professional accuracy. I've compared the pulse reading to my blood pressure device and they are the same. I have not made other comparisons. I got the Nonin Onyx Vantage 9590
     
    Little Bluestem and Valentijn like this.
  15. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

    Messages:
    6,716
    Likes:
    10,224
    Amersfoort, Netherlands
    It's got its limits though ... usually once a crash has started, heart rate will be pretty normal even though I feel like I got hit by a truck.
     
  16. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

    Messages:
    7,299
    Likes:
    6,376
    Albuquerque
    Thanks Valentijn & SOC

    I forgot that this device also measures HR, so I was really more curious about how the oxygen sats correlated with your HR and BP? I am using the chest strap HR monitor but don't have a way to measure oxygen sats.

    Thanks again,
    Sushi
     
  17. SOC

    SOC Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,367
    Likes:
    6,465
    USA
    Oh yeah! I'd forgotten that one since I don't have to do it anymore. :D I showered rather than bathed, so mine looked more like this: Lay down before shower until HR is baseline (mine was about 85 then, too). Undress. Check HR. If over 95, lie down again until HR is back to baseline. Take shower sitting. Check HR immediately after shower. If over 120 (my AT is 125), grab a bunch of towels and lie down (before drying off) until HR gets down to baseline. And so on. Every little step could put me over my AT, so I had to check at every stage and lie down if I was near my AT. Then I usually had to nap after the shower since I was exhausted. Showers were easily a half-day chore in those days. Still, it was better than crashing... or being in a continuous crash.

    This reminds me how much better I am now. I can take a quick shower (not washing and drying hair) in the morning before I go to work. :thumbsup: The hair washing is still a little tricky -- all that arms above the head stuff still isn't trivial -- so I have to reserve that for when I have time to go slowly. Still, it's not a half-day project. :balloons:

    That sure sounds like something abnormal in the cardiac department. Have you discussed it with a cardiologist?
     
    Little Bluestem likes this.
  18. JAH

    JAH Senior Member

    Messages:
    284
    Likes:
    166
    San Jose
    I have tried this, as my fingers are always cold. The frustrating part if the Walgreens pulse/ ox is that I will get a reading, not move an inch, and then it will go out. Standing up will often make it go blank, and the pulse number skips around a lot. This doesn't happen with the pulse/ox I use at docs, so I know I can get a better one.
     
    Valentijn likes this.
  19. SOC

    SOC Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,367
    Likes:
    6,465
    USA
    For me, the oxygen saturation is a not useful -- other than it's a confirmation everything is okay in that arena. Oxygen sat doesn't track activity or how I feel -- it's just hangs out between 97% and 99%.
     
  20. JAH

    JAH Senior Member

    Messages:
    284
    Likes:
    166
    San Jose

See more popular forum discussions.

Share This Page