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Need for Oximeter for Elderly Mom with Congestive Heart Failure to Justify 24/7 Oxygen

by Barbara 28. December 2010 09:16

Question about the Medline Digital Finger Oximeter, Black.

Question: "My mother is 89 years old and has congestive heart failure. She wore a 24 hour oxygen monitor a few weeks ago. The result was a non-portable oxygen unit so she can get supplemental oxygen at night. Her daytime reading was 90% and her night readings averaged 80%. Despite her age, Mom's mind is very good except now from mid-morning on you can see the deterioration. Sometimes her heart races. She says she had her first anxiety attack of her life: Gail and I feel it is that her heart is struggling due to the congestion.  I live over a thousand miles away but will be at her home for the rest of the week. Would this be something that her home care helper could use to help justify with her doctor her need for a portable tank on her wheelchair during the day? She has been told to use oxygen as she needs it! The tank is in the living room where she sleeps in a recliner during the night and naps. Thanks, Your brother Jim.

Answer: Yes, Jim, this unit is what she needs and it should arrive in two days from Medline. This oximeter unit is reasonably priced, easy to use and gives accurate readings. I know you have already contacted her physician about what is happening to Mom.  I've ordered this oximeter that should arrive in another day. When I spoke with Mom two days ago, I knew then something was wrong because she seemed confused. She's been complaining about fatigue for months. I was wrong in believing that this was depression or age. Obviously Mom needed someone to actively be her advocate as her doctor did not see the whole picture.

We do sell several other oximeters which would work equally well. Most are hospital grade units, though. For example,John Bunn DIGI O2 Finger Pulse Oximeter JB02007, the John Bunn DigiOx Finger Pulse Oximeter Model JB02008 which costs a little less than the Medline unit referenced in your question, the Medline Digital Finger Oximeter, Yellow and the Medline Handheld Pulse Oximeter which is personal computer and printer compatible.

This oximeter as other finger pulse oximeters gives SPO2, pulse rate and pulse strength readings. SpO2 numbers give you the amount of oxygen attached to the hemoglobin cells (red blood cells) in your body or the saturation of oxygen in your red blood cells.. Normal is 96%.

I've done more internet reading about what is normal for oxygen levels and will share this with my readers.

HeartFailureSolutions.Com gives this list which covers part of Mom's symptoms:

"Watch for the following signs:

  • water retention (especially feet/ ankles)
  • shortness of breath/ difficulty breathing
  • extreme fatigue
  • chest tightness
  • mental confusion/ short-term-memory loss
  • tingling fingers
  • chronic cough
  • blue coloring around lips
  • waking at night gasping for breath

Your body requires 92% blood oxygen saturation or above.  There is no getting around your oxygen requirement.

If you ignore you rlow oxygen level, you will lose your eye sight, short term memory, and your strength and stamina.  The progressive weakening of your heart muscle will contribute to your heart failure."

Thanks for being there, Jim and Gail. I know Gail went through similar issues about supplemental oxygen for her late mom: she shared that she needed to buy an oximeter to present her case for 24/7 portable oxygen for her mom

Love you!

Sincerely,

Barbara