Like infrared thermometers, and face masks before them, pulse oximeters, have become the latest product propelled to sold-out status during the pandemic.
Pulse oximeters are an unlikely home health essential.
The device checks vital statistics like blood oxygen levels, heart rate, and blood pressure, and while these numbers may not mean much to the general public, they help medical professionals gain a better understanding of your overall health, especially during this pandemic.
Medical grade pulse oximeter
“A pulse oximeter is a medical device that measures the oxygen content in the blood”
“It’s an indicator of how much oxygen from the air we’re breathing into our lungs gets into the blood.”
Already essential for those with asthma or other lung diseases, a pulse oximeter is an affordable investment that could give you peace of mind during the pandemic.
It’s not only easy to use, but it gives valuable insight into your health that could be helpful to medical professionals.
The normal range of oxygen saturation is 95 to 100 percent. They are generally prescribed for home use in patients with pre-existing lung conditions or those who require supplemental oxygen.
Because infection-related pneumonia can cause low oxygen levels, it’s not surprising that finding a pulse oximeter available online or at your local pharmacy is almost impossible.
Benefits of pulse oximeter
- Portability – Finger pulse oximeters only weigh a couple of ounces. They are so small they can fit in your shirt pocket.
- Compact Pulse Oximetry – Finger pulse oximeters display SpO2 (Oxygen Saturation %) and heart rate in beats per minute.
- Pediatric to Adult – Finger pulse oximeters can work on pediatric to adult patients. finger oximeters have the best patient range. If the user’s finger is thicker than a pencil then the finger oximeter will be able to get a reading.
- Durable with Warranty: All finger pulse oximeters have at least a two-year warranty and have service centers in the United States.
- Fast Readings – Finger pulse oximeters provide accurate readings within seconds making it the perfect device for spot checks.
- Wireless Bluetooth – Fingertip oximeters with Bluetooth can connect to an iPhone/IOS or Android device and send readings for review.
- Medical Grade: pulse oximeters are used in hospitals and clinical settings throughout the world. They use the same hospital-grade technology in their line of finger oximeters.
Pulse oximetry readings can be affected by
Pulse oximeter alarm limits
No Alarms: Since finger pulse oximeters are primarily used for spot checks (quick readings) and not for extended continuous readings there are no alarm options for finger pulse oximeters. We recommend handheld or tabletop oximeters with alarms if the alarm option is required.
Pulse oximeter memory
Memory – Most finger pulse oximeters do not have memory, but they have the ability to “stream” readings to an app via a Bluetooth connection to a smartphone or tablet.
Pulse oximeter for babies
Infants / Neonates: Finger oximeters will not work on infants and neonates. Handheld and tabletop oximeters with a properly sized sensor are still the best way to take oxygen and heart rate readings from infants and neonates.
The pulse oximeter can work on pediatric toes or fingers as long as the size is the thickness of a number 2 pencil or larger. No other finger oximeter can work on digits that small.
Many low-cost pulse oximeters sold to consumers demonstrate highly inaccurate readings. But, the accuracy of some low-cost pulse oximeters tested performed similarly to more expensive, ISO-cleared units when measuring hypoxia in healthy subjects.
Pulse Oximeters: Answering Your Frequently Asked Questions
Pulse oximetry is so widely prevalent in medical care that it is often regarded as a fifth vital sign. It is important to understand how the technology functions as well as its limitations because erroneous readings can lead to unnecessary testing.
As per the studies, your right hand’s middle finger shows the best results. Make sure to take off any nail polish and avoid using cold fingers as the readings may not show correctly.
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