For most people, the easiest way to decide that you're okay to go home is if the oxygen saturation usually measured on your finger is above 90%. Even when you walk, you should also have access to medications and be able to follow up with your primary care team and have a way to get back to the hospital if you get worse. If you have a low oxygen level or signs that your infection spread to your blood, you may need to stay in the hospital. The same goes if you need a breathing mask for bi-pap, or if you were intubated. Oxygen is not a one size fits all treatment. If you have an infectious pneumonia, you will probably need oxygen for a short time. While it is a good idea for some patients, it may not be for you. Too much oxygen can actually slow down your breathing and cause dangerous levels of carbon dioxide to build up in your blood or brain. That can lead to serious complications, including confusion and coma. For this reason, most oxygen supply companies won't even set up home oxygen from the ER. If you are admitted or if your office care team orders it, that's when you can get home oxygen.
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