If a person is on oxygen, does that mean that their heart is not pumping correctly?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 20, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

If a person is on oxygen (at night only or only when excercising) does that mean their heart is not pumping right? I know my oxygen should be above 90 but what is my heart rate suppose to be, normally, like when just walking around the house. Is like 95/110 normal?


Expert Answers

Carolyn Strimike, N.P. and Margie Latrella, N.P. are cardiac nurse practitioners specializing in the prevention of heart disease and stroke. They have over 40 years of nursing experience in Cardiology between them. The main goal of their work is to counsel, motivate and empower women to adopt healthy lifestyle choices.

There can be different reasons for a person to be on home oxygen. Many people on home oxygen have chronic lung problems but people can also be on oxygen if their heart is not pumping strong enough. Yes, the normal oxygen saturation should be over 90%. Heart rate is a little more variable. A "normal" resting heart rate is 60 to 100 beats per minute. With activity the heart rate increases and depending in the condition of the heart, the heart rate may increase quickly with exertion or rise at a steadier, slower pace. The formual for "maximum" heart rate is 220 minus your age. So, for a 50 year old person, the maximum heart rate is 220-50, which is 170 beats per minute. I hope this information is helpful.