oximeter readings

What is Oximeter and How to read oximeter Readings?

Hey! How are you ? and I know this is a tough situation for all. But believe me that one day we will win this corona pandemic. Today I’m come up with a new interesting topic that is What is Oximeter and How to read oximeter readings. I’m sure that you already heard the name of the oximeter. Today I’ll provide you full details about the Oximeter. Without wasting any further intro! Let’s start our topic!

What exactly is a pulse oximeter?

A pulse oximeter is a device that is used to quickly and easily monitor a patient’s oxygen saturation. This means it can measure the level of oxygen within the blood; specifically in arterial blood without using any invasive means.

It’s typically a small portable device that clips onto the finger and provides a reading within seconds. In addition to monitoring oxygen saturation, the device provides a heart rate measurement as well.

Arterial blood flows to parts of the body from the heart (fresh with oxygen); where it diffuses to the surrounding tissues and cells.

If there is a lack of oxygen in the blood that means that your body tissues will not be oxygenated properly and can be hazardous to your health.

man taking oximeter readings
Photo by Stanley Ng on Pexels.com

This can be an indication of serious pulmonary issues. That’s why it’s so important to use a pulse oximeter.

Respiratory therapist as well as other healthcare professionals use these portable devices to constantly monitor their patient’s oxygenation levels and their heart rate

and these vital sign readings help provide a better understanding of the patient’s overall cardiopulmonary status.

In some cases, it is also recommended that patients with cardiopulmonary problems keep their very own pulse oximeter at home.

How exactly does a pulse oximeter work?

Pulse oximeters work on a simple but brilliant principle. So basically, the pulse oximeter shines a light through your finger, and by doing so; it can measure the amount of oxygen that’s in your blood.

Blood absorbs light and there’s a distinct difference between the wavelengths that go through oxygenated and deoxygenated blood

the finger clip of the pulse oximeter consists of a transmitting light source that emits a broad spectrum of light and

on the other side, there’s a receiver that measures: how much light passes through the finger? the diode on the receiving end is capable of detecting the wavelength of light.

the internal circuits and processing components of the pulse oximeter do some calculations as well.

Because the device has to compensate for ambient light so, for example, the light in your room or from the Sun.

it also has to compensate for the size of the finger and for the absorbance of the rest of the tissues.

the device has a reference curved that is saved into its memory and it uses this as a way to calibrate incoming readings and to normalize them.

so that you can get an accurate reading and this helps to increase the precision of the results that it provides.

What does a pulse oximeter measure readings?

Now as I mentioned before ; a pulse oximeter measures the oxygen saturation in the blood. and it gives a heart rate measurement and

when I say it measures the saturation of oxygen in the blood. I’m of course talking about arterial blood more precisely; it measures the amount of oxygen that is being carried by hemoglobin and this reading is known as the spo2.

So the primary function of a pulse oximeter is to measure oxygen saturation. By doing so the heart rate is automatically calculated alongside the percentage of oxygen.

so heart rate and oxygen saturation complement one another and doctors and respiratory therapists rely on these readings to know how to properly treat their patients.

So if you already have a pulse oximeter, you may be wondering how to use it the best part of pulse oximetry is that is non-invasive.

Back in the day doctors had to draw blood from the patient and perform several tests: in order to find out the percentage of oxygen saturation

now we can get that reading in a matter of seconds by using a pulse oximeter all you have to do is clip the device on the middle finger or Oh NATO or even on an earlobe; some models are even surface probes that can attach to the patient’s forehead or even their chest

and once the device is attached and turned on it will provide you with the readings in a matter of seconds but to get reliable realistic readings you should try to minimize the patient’s movement as much as possible and

also if you’re using an oximeter make sure that you’re not wearing any nail polish. if you’re using it on yourself or

if you’re a medical professional make sure that the patient does not have on any nail polish.

Which finger is best for a pulse oximeter?

If you didn’t know, accuracy is often the biggest concern when it comes to measuring oxygen saturation with a pulse oximeter.

some studies were performed and it actually showed that the middle finger of the right hand gives the best accuracy and surprisingly the thumb of the right hand came in second.

This is a bit of a surprise for doctors, respiratory therapists, and medical practitioners because the same study showed that about 80% of health care workers tend to clip the pulse oximeter to the patient’s index finger.

but with that, all said the differences were negligible and any finger as long as the device is secure on the finger should give you an accurate reading but if you had to choose you can always go with the middle finger of the right hand and

Pulse oximeter readings
Image by charlykushu from Pixabay

Risk of Using Pulse oximeter

Now let’s talk about the risk of using a pulse oximeter. Now thankfully there aren’t any risk or dangers of using a pulse oximeter.

The biggest concern is making sure that the device is given an accurate reading this is especially true for doctors respiratory therapists and medical professionals that is

because if the pulse oximeter gives inaccurate results that could lead to poor patient treatment and care.

global coronavirus map with country statistics
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Technically, it is true that there aren’t any dangers and using the device itself, like you’re not going to get shocked or anything

But there could be some very serious dangers if the results are not in the normal range. That is what we are going to talk about next.

What are the normal ranges for a pulse oximeter?

Now we need to talk about what the normal ranges are for heart rate and oxygen saturation?

The normal range for heart rate is 60 to 100 beats per minute.

The normal range for oxygen saturation is 95 to 100%.

medical equipment on an operation room and now oximeter readings show the results instant.
Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Now keep in mind, these are the normal values for an average adult; these ranges differ depending on your age.

so that means, your normal range could be different than someone else’s normal range. Depending on how old you are? and while the normal range for oxygen saturation is 95 to 100%

the level isn’t considered to be dangerously low until it drops below 90% in such a case that is referred to as hypoxemia.

Which means that there is an abnormally. low level of oxygen in the blood hypoxemia is treated with supplemental oxygen.

So if you are a regular user of a pulse oximeter at home. The results that you are getting are consistently falling outside of the normal ranges.

It will probably be wise for you to consider seeing your doctor or seeking professional medical advice.

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