Oximeter; What is it & why is it a must-have?

Oximeter; What is it & why is it a must-have?

People usually have a thermometer, hand sanitizers, or even some band-aids on hand in their medical kit. Now all of these items are useful and handy but there is one more medical device that has become a must have in your medical kit, it’s called the ‘‘Pulse Oximeter’’.

Pulse Oximeters have proven to be a handy health-check device to have at home, with oxygen saturation levels becoming a vital part of our daily life. Health specialists have emphasized how useful and effective are Oximeters.

How effective has it been in times of Covid?

Oxygen level in the blood is an early symptom of COVID deteriorating but not everyone can experience a change in their body oxygen levels. For example, you can have low oxygen levels without even having breathing issues. So to detect this early Covid symptom people are buying their own pulse oximeters to monitor their oxygen levels at home.

To know how this early symptom of having a low oxygen level affects us, first we must understand that COVID19 is caused by a virus strain that enters the body through the respiratory system. This virus has a direct effect on the lungs, typically leading to inflammation or pneumonia, which lowers lung efficiency and oxygen transport throughout the body.

Reduced oxygen levels can occur in both mild and severe instances of COVID19, and this is where Pulse Oximeter are being used to diagnose coronavirus symptoms more rapidly to monitor blood oxygen levels.

How accurate are Oximeters?

Readings of oxygen saturation detected through oximeters are usually highly accurate. Prescription oximeters have a precision rate of 4% above or below the measurement on average. To put it another way, if your oxygen level is 92%, it could actually be as low as 88% or as high as 96%. 

Factors affecting oximeter’s reading:

Poor circulation, cold, or moving fingers, on the other hand, can make it harder for the device to identify the pulse or even fool the probe into mistaking movement for a pulse. Nail polish, artificial fingernails, and sometimes dark pigmentation in the skin can cause major differences in oximeter readings.

How to use it effectively?

You are supposed to place the oximeter on your middle finger and if it is chilly then you should warm it by rubbing your hands together. While taking a measurement, you'll also need to remain motionless and reduce your hand movement. Taking readings on little children could be a difficulty!

Step-by-step process to operate a Pulse Oximeter:

Step 1: Remove any nail polish or fake nails, and warm your hand if it is cold.

Step 2: Take your measurement after resting for at least 5 minutes.

Step 3: Put the oximeter on your middle or index finger and turn it on.

Step 5: It takes time for the reading to stabilize. If the reading is not stable, keep the oximeter in place for at least a minute or more.

Step 6: After the highest result has remained unchanged for 5 seconds, record it.

Step 7: Carefully examine the reading and get medical attention if your oxygen level is less than 92 percent.

We hope this piece of information on pulse oximeter has been helpful and makes you realize the importance of having one at home. 

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy.