What is my setting?

 

What is my setting?

The prescription that you get from your physician will tell you how much supplemental oxygen you require to get you up above 90% oxygen saturation level. This is typically measured in liters per minute (LPM). Most patients (approximately 85%) require a setting of 2 LPM.

How do you figure out much supplemental oxygen you require?

First, the settings on all machines are not the same. Every manufacturer uses a different method for calculating how much a pulse dose setting is equivalent to in liters per minute (LPM). What’s most critical, is, how your body responds to the machine and dose given. Normal blood oxygen saturation is 95%. Low blood oxygen saturation is below 90%. It is important to test your blood oxygen saturation when using whatever source of supplemental oxygen you are using at rest as well as during activity (ambulation). Your rates may vary, and, you may have to adjust the flow accordingly. Keep these flow rates in mind when searching for a supplemental solution. Additionally, if possible, give yourself some extra room just in case you need a little more oxygen.

Pulse or Continuous?

There are 2 (two) types of flow setting when it comes to oxygen, continuous and pulse dose.

Continuous- Continuous flow is a steady stream (non-stop) flow of oxygen, just like turning on a watering hose. This flow method delivers oxygen whether you are breathing or not. This is a very inefficient delivery method with the majority (60-70%) of oxygen generated being wasted. (There are 4 parts of a breath, inhale, exhale and a pause at the top of a breath and at the bottom of a breath.) However, some patients are not strong enough to breathe on their own or they are mouth breathers and require a little extra assistance.

Pulse Dose- Pulse dose, Puffer or On demand is the delivery of oxygen when required. These are typically the small lightweight machines that have sensors inside the machine that can tell when patients are inhaling and exhaling. The sensors are activated by the negative back pressure generated when you inhale through your nose. This method is not appropriate for patients that ONLY breath through their mouth OR if their lungs are not strong enough to adequately draw air in through their nose creating the back-pressure required for machine to recognize.