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Valarie, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
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I have a 99-year old mother in Poland suffering (among others)from

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I have a 99-year old mother in Poland suffering (among others)from emphesyma. I visited her lately and found a way to rent an oxygen concentrator but her doctor told me I could not administer oxygen to his patient without his orders and he can only prescribe oxygen treatment after a gasometry test is performed. The trouble is however, 4 attempts to test blood taken from her finger-failed, so the only option is a sample from an artery. The artery sample can only be drawn in a hospital lab but I refuse to put my mother in an ambulance for 2 reasons: 1. she would be scared to death thinking that something is seriously wrong; 2. her bones are like chalk and on their bumpy roads evry bone in her body would turn to powdWhen I returned home to US, I had an appointment with my physician. The nurse put a little gadget on my finger and told me the oxygen content in my blood. My question is: IS THERE A GADGET I CAN BUY HERE IN US AND SEND THERE THAT WOULD RESOLVE THE ISSUE?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Valarie replied 5 years ago.

Hello. Thank you for coming to JustAnswer with your question, and welcome.


The gadget you are referring to is a pulse oximeter. If you put that into your search engine, you will see that you can buy these online. You can also buy them at a local medical supply store, or even your local pharmacy, Walmart or CVS.


Ask to speak with someone before deciding what type to purchase. They are basically all the same as far as the results you get (showing percentage of oxygen in the blood and a pulse rate), and how the device is used (some are placed on your finger, others on your wrist). However, I am sure as with anything else that some are better made than others.



Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I would like to know if the "pulse oximeter" reading will be sufficient to prescribe oxygen treatment without having to perform the gazometry blood test
Expert:  Valarie replied 5 years ago.

That would really depend on your mother's condition (she may have other cardiovascular conditions in addition to the emphysema); and on her doctor. You might want to contact her doctor and ask if this would be sufficient for him to prescribe oxygen.


The pulse oximeter is frequently used in clinical and hospital settings to monitor patients, however in these settings there is other monitoring being done, as well as professionals that can judge the accuracy or relevancy of the pulse oximetry itself.


A pulse oximetry reading alone may not be enough for her doctor to make a judgment about use of oxygen. In some people with emphysema, the use of oxygen can be dangerous.


In the U.S., it would usually be possible to send a professional medical person to the home environment to do an assessment. Even a professional nurse trained in home care could help. You might ask the doctor in Poland if this is possible in this situation. If not, it really would be best for her to get to a hospital so that she can be fully assessed.

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks for your answer, but I also would like to know if this "pulse oximeter" will be sufficient to replace the gazometry test
Expert:  Valarie replied 5 years ago.

Hi, sorry for the delay.....I had to be away from the computer for a time.


The pulse oximeter will only give you readings for oxygen saturation and pulse rate.


It does not replace the "gazometry test", or as it is called here....arterial blood gases, which include levels for oxygen content (as well as saturation), carbon dioxide, bicarbonate, the blood pH level. Here is a link that explains from WebMd: Arterial Blood Gases.


So, again, it would be necessary to contact your mother's doctor to find out whether the pulse oximetry alone would be helpful in enabling him to order oxygen for her.