Being On Oxygen
What is a normal blood oxygen level?
Oxygen levels are commonly measured by two techniques. The first is a blood
gas in which a blood sample is taken directly from an artery. This is the most
accurate assessment of oxygen. The normal oxygen level using this technique is
80-100 (mmHg). The second technique is bloodless [and painless] and is called
pulse oximetry. The result here is not a direct measurement of oxygen but rather
represents the percentage of hemoglobin that is saturated with oxygen.
Hemoglobin is a protein in the blood that carries oxygen to the tissues. A light
sensor is used which is commonly placed on a fingertip. Pulse oximetry is not as
accurate as a blood gas and can be influenced by temperature and circulation.
The normal oxygen saturation is 95-100%.
Thank you to Breathing Better, Living Well for this information. More
information can be found on their website at: http://breathingbetterlivingwell.com/basics/oxygenqa.php
As a laryngectomy we have special needs in the use of oxygen. A pediatric
mask works well to fit under the neck to provide oxygen. Another option if you
use an HME is one with a built in port for oxygen. Note: I checked the Boston Medcal site and was no longer able to find them. They were the only supplier that had them that I know of. If I get a link I will add it.
More information on Boston Medical can be found in
our supplier section:
An issue just came up with one of our group, when she had to be
transported via aid car to the hospital. They did not have a trach mask nor an
adapter to connect the oxygen tubing to a mask. They had to get one through the
repertory department at the hospital but of course that was way after the need.
I did some research and found they can be ordered on line. It is a trach mask
with the oxygen adapter included. Here is a link to the information:
Amazon trach masks
might be worth having one on hand in case of emergencies.
Another good resource of information on those with oxygen, including information on the new Cannula Oxygen Glasses that integrate the cannula into the glasses can be found at:
2010 Seattle, WA.
If you have questions about your own oxygen needs,
your doctor should be your guide.
For suggestions, contributions, corrections or questions about this section, please contact:
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