Regular Monitoring of your pulse rate and Hemoglobin levels (Oxygen Saturation levels)
can save your life and thousands on medical bills. Continuous monitoring can alert
you to times when you should seek a medical professional advice. (This is not a
replacement of physician’s advice)
Various reports show that heart disease and other circulatory diseases are top causes
of death in America.
What is Pulse Oximeter
A pulse oximeter is a medical device that indirectly measures the oxygen saturation
of a patient's blood (as opposed to measuring oxygen saturation directly through
a blood sample) and changes in blood volume in the skin. A blood-oxygen monitor displays
the percentage of arterial hemoglobin in the oxyhemoglobin configuration. Acceptable
normal ranges are from 95 to 100 percent, although values down to 90% are common.
(consult your doctor for acceptable range). For a patient breathing room air, at
not far above sea level an estimate of arterial pO2 can be made from the blood-oxygen
monitor SpO2 reading.
Oximeters are used medically by patients with COPD, asthma, and other respiratory
conditions. Pilots also find oximeters to be a very valuable tool to help guard against
hypoxia. This guide will give you the information you need to pick the oximeter that
best suits your needs.
HOW PULSE OXIMETRY WORKS
Pulse oximeters take advantage of the fact that the color of arterial blood varies
depending on the amount of oxygen it contains. Highly oxygenated blood is bright
red, while blood with less oxygen is a much darker red. A probe, or in the case of
a fingertip oximeter, the unit itself, is placed on your fingertip (probes can also
be placed on your earlobe). The oximeter shines two beams of light through the fingertip
(or earlobe) to sort out the color of the blood and determine your oxygen saturation
level. Oximeters also measure your pulse rate.
Oximeters can be used for spot-checks, or to continually monitor your oxygen level
and pulse rate. Fingertip pulse oximeters are battery operated, so they can be used