I disagree with those that say a pulse oximeter reading is inappropriate for hospice patients on O2. One of the reasons for using a pulse oximeter is to determine if O2 administration is efficacious and/or the machine is working correctly. If pulse oximeter readings indicate that the the Sp02 has not improved upon oxygen administration, then the machine may not be operating correctly, the oxygen may not be applied correctly, there may be a blockage in the respiratory tree, the oxygen concentration may have to be increased, and etc. Further, when administrating narcotic angalgesics to the hospice or other patients, a pulse oximeter is mandatory to determine if the side affect of respiratory depression necessitates reducing doseage or, to the contrary, oxygen delivery can be increased.
It should, also, be remembered that patients that have COPD should have low levels of O2 delivered as their stimulus to breath is from low SA02 or low S02 rather from high carbon dioxide levels in other patients. Giving too much 02 to COPD patients, therefore, can cause them to stop breathing, therefore.