MEI Pulse Oximeter Project

Posted: 10 January 2021
Updated: 20 March 2021

Image of pulse oximeters and paperwork

Authored by Colleen Steckel

In November 2020 it was decided by the ME International Board to ask for donations that would cover the purchase cost and shipment of pulse oximeters to members.

NOTE: If you are a member of ME International and would like a pulse oximeter, please send a request email to with your name and address.

All of the board members who have myalgic encephalomyelitis have used pulse oximeters and other devices to measure heart rate and recognized the importance of having this vital information.

In preparation for sending out pulse oximeters the volunteers created an explanation sheet about the usefulness of pulse oximeters. Access the sheet HERE:

Be aware that multiple factors can affect the accuracy of a pulse oximeter reading, such as poor circulation, skin pigmentation, skin thickness, skin temperature, current tobacco use, and use of fingernail polish. To get the best reading from a pulse oximeter:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use.
  • When placing the oximeter on your finger, make sure your hand is warm, relaxed, and held below the level of the heart. Remove any fingernail polish on that finger.
  • Sit still and do not move the part of your body where the pulse oximeter is located.
  • Wait a few seconds until the reading stops changing and displays one steady number.

See the U.S. FDA write-up HERE.

In December enough donations came in to purchase the first 50 BodyMed pulse oximeters at a discount through Milliken Medical of Ohio. A Thrivent Financial “Action Team” grant of $250 as part of their #LiveGenerously program was secured which helped cover the purchase. Individual donations came in to cover the remaining cost for the purchase as well as supplies and mailing costs.

Requests quickly came in from around the world. On January 8, 2021 the first shipment of pulse oximeters was sent out to members in the US, Canada, Norway, Australia and the UK. The entire project is managed by volunteers. Requests will be filled on a first come first serve basis. We are in the process of sending out the first 50.

Funds are needed to continue fulfilling requests. Please donate so we can continue this project. To see more information and to donate, go to our Fundraisers page.  A thank you to Lisa Edelsward (Canada) for the beautiful poem graphic on this Fundraisers page.

Previous Comments

Theresa – 3/22/2021 04:49:13 pm
Sounds very helpful 😀

One Response

  1. I have found pulse oximeter helpful to watch for days when I need to rest more. By checking to see if my morning heart rate is elevated, I can gauge how active I can be on that day.

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