Medical Grade Pulse Oximeter

A medical-grade pulse oximeter measures the level of oxygen saturation in red blood cells.

This handy tool, typically placed on a fingertip or earlobe, has drawn attention during the pandemic as a potential tool for identifying hypoxia (low blood oxygen saturation), which is a worrying sign of serious illness. So should everyone make sure they have a pulse oximeter in their medicine cabinet? Not necessarily.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers pulse oximeters to be prescription medical devices, however, most pulse oximeters found on the Internet or in pharmacies are specifically labeled “not for medical use”.

Pulse oximeters have been around for 50 years and are a valuable tool available to patients and providers when collaboratively monitoring blood oxygenation while treating some chronic lung and heart conditions.

They are typically presented in a medical setting as a tool to inform general disease management. During the pandemic, they might even be recommended, under the guidance of your healthcare provider, to self-manage symptoms of illness.

Disease monitoring vs surveillance

So what is the best way to monitor symptoms?

These approaches to assessing how a person is feeling and acting, and then providing guidance on the next steps, such as seeking emergency care, calling their health care provider, or continuing to monitor symptoms, help guide people through a collaborative treatment process.

A pulse oximeter may be a recommended tool to use under the guidance of your healthcare provider to monitor symptoms, but should not be relied upon without medical supervision, or without paying attention to other signs and symptoms of illness.

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Pulse oximetry is a test used to measure the oxygen level (oxygen saturation) of the blood.

Pulse Oximeter made in the USA

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Pulse oximeters are FDA-cleared for accuracy and are hospital-grade oximeters used in clinical and home settings for over 20 years.

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