If you are a medical professional, most likely, you are familiar with what a pulse oximeter is. But you don’t have to be a doctor to know how to use this device. This device must be available in your homes, especially for people with cardiovascular conditions, respiratory illnesses, and many more. So how do they work? Let’s get to know how to use a pulse oximeter.
What is a Pulse Oximeter
A pulse oximeter is a clip-on medical device that measures oxygen saturation. It is a noninvasive and painless test that measures explicitly heart rate and the oxygen level in the blood, which is the percent of oxygen saturation. Pulse oximeters operate by shining light through the skin to the blood vessels.
The pulse oximeter is a small, clip-like thing that attaches toes or an earlobe. Most commonly, it is placed on a finger, widely used in health care facilities. Some specialist doctors may use it in their clinics.
This device is one of the necessities at home. Science tells us that every system and organ in the body needs oxygen to survive. Without oxygen, cells begin to malfunction, which can cause severe symptoms and ultimately lead to organ failure and even death. The average oxygen saturation level results are between 95 and 100 percent. An oxygen saturation level that measures below 90 percent is considered abnormally low and can be an emergency or needs some other medical tests.
Benefits of Having a Pulse Oximeter
Oxygen saturation may drop for many various reasons, including suffocation, choking, or infections such as pneumonia, lung cancer, lung infections, heart failure or a history of heart attacks, allergic reactions, sleep apnea, the inhaling of poisonous chemicals, among others.
Pulse oximeters are very useful for people who have conditions that affect oxygen saturation. They also provide feedback about the effectiveness of breathing interventions, such as oxygen therapy and ventilators.
In hospitals, some doctors make use of pulse oximetry to assess the safety of physical activity in patients with cardiovascular or respiratory problems. For other patients, they may also
recommend the use of a pulse oximeter while exercising. They are also helpful in the neonatal intensive care units, which can alert staff of a drop in oxygen saturation. Pulse oximeters are particularly needed in assessing the need for supplemental oxygen, alerting to dangerously low oxygen levels, particularly in newborns, and monitoring oxygen saturation levels in people under anesthesia or people taking medicine.
How To Use Pulse Oximeter
A specific pulse oximeter has manuals for you to read to ensure proper function. You must first read and understand its instructions. Remove any nail polish, especially those who have dark colors before placing the device on the finger. You need to place the sensor on the finger before turning on the pulse oximeter for a faster result. Then, press the power button to turn the pulse oximeter on. The screen should light up almost instantly.
You need to place the part that opens and closes like a clothespin sensor on any finger, and the sensor screen should be above the fingernail. If the device doesn’t have a screen, you should run the cable along the back of the finger or hand. It is advisable not to use a thumb because readings are less reliable compared to readings in other fingers. Then, wait quietly while the pulse oximeter acquires a signal. It usually takes ten seconds or more. For good results, avoid excessive movements.
You will see the heart rate at a display, as can be seen in a heart or pulsing light. Some devices also have a pulse tone that beeps in time with the heart rate. For continuous monitoring, leave the sensor on. DO not leave it too long to avoid pressure sores or uncomfortable feelings. Check the sensor at least every two to four hours. Remove the sensor and press and turn off the device, if only a single measurement is required. The pulse oximeter will then let you know if the oxygen saturation levels along with your heart rate. Once the test is over, the device must be removed.
Pulse oximeters were developed to be available not just in medical facilities but, more importantly, at home. It is known to be widely used in subsidiary care for decades now. It is an essential, especially for health-conscious individuals. It will give the much-needed peace of mind and could be readily used in times of emergency.
You can be a first aider in your home. People who have trouble breathing, dizziness, or other signs of possible oxygen deprivation should immediately seek medical attention. But upon knowing how to use pulse oximeters is of great advantage at home as it offers peace of mind, particularly to people with chronic respiratory or cardiovascular conditions.
These devices are widely used in many health care settings and are available over the counter. Thanks to this diagnostic tool, it enables the indirect measurement of the percentage of oxygenated hemoglobin in a patient’s capillary blood. You can be assured that it can detect potential health risks of your family if you have and if you know how to use pulse oximeters. Find out more about first aid.