Tomorrow is the last day of PH Awareness month. I have enjoyed reading all about the disease from fellow PH'ers on Facebook and have learned a lot. I want to talk about pulse oximeters. All it took for Nicole to be referred to a cardiologist was a pulse ox put on her finger. This isn't routinely done (except at the cardiologist and specialist) during a well visit check up or any other time except for in the hospital. The purpose of a pulse ox is to measure the levels of oxygen in the blood. A healthy person should have a reading around 98% or so.
Nicole's pulse ox reading usually falls between 85 - 89%. If she's at rehab and exercising with oxygen her readings have been known to be in the 70's. The respiratory therapist said that since Nicole's oxygen levels have been low for so long her body has compensated for that and she can function very well or at least to the world. If I were to have oxygen saturation levels this low I probably wouldn't be able to function as well.
There should be laws passed in every single state that every baby born has a pulse ox put on their finger at the time of birth. I know that some states have passed this type of law. I can' t help but wonder how our lives would have been different if Nicole had only had a pulse ox put on her finger when she was born.