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What is an Oximeter

Updated: Jun 28, 2021

An Oximeter is a simple device that is used to measure the amount of Blood Oxygen level in your Body and it is specifically designed to be Noninvasive i.e it is Painless and easy to use

You just have to clip it on your Fingertip or ear lobe and the Device will send Infrared light signal and measure your Oxygen level and also your Pulse rate on the Screen of the Device

When you breathe, oxygen enters your lungs, passes through thin membranes and enters your blood stream — where it's then picked up by red blood cells and carried around the body to various organs and Oximeter measures how well Oxygen is Binding to Red Blood Cells and this estimation of amount of Oxygen present in the Blood and SpO2 is measured and shown

What is SpO2 or Oxygen Saturation?

Also known as Oxygen Saturation,It is the measurement of amount of Haemoglobin carrying oxygen to the amount of Haemoglobin carrying no Oxygen and this measurement determines the level of Blood Oxygen in your Body.

How Does Oximeter Work:

This is very Important to know, If you are a person who is using this Device and is curious to Know about it, The working Principle of Oximeter is Simple:

When you Clip your Fingertip,the Sensor in the Device send 2 Wavelength of Light(Red and Infrared)through the finger to the Photodetector and the changing absorbance of the 2 wavelength is measured by the Photodetector.

Oxygenated Haemoglobin will absorbs Infrared light but Deoxygenated will absorb Red light and based on the intensity difference of red light and infrared light, pulse oximeter calculates the amount of oxygen in the blood.

Using an Oximeter:

It can be used by a Healthy person to check their Oxygen level during Physical activities or Exercise but most preferably used by people suffering from :

  • Asthma

  • COPD

  • Before and After Surgery

  • Anemia

  • Lung Cancer

  • In Oxygen Therapy

Accurate or Normal Reading of Oximeter

Oximeter are close to accurate reading of Oxygen level and the variation it shows is 2% less or more for example, If reading shows 94% then your Real Oxygen level may be 92% or 96% or Between these two value

The safe range of the pulse rate is said to be between 60 to 100 and it may also vary in Oximeter by 2% up or down.

The Normal Oxygen level of a Human Being is said to be in the Range of 95% to 100% and If your Reading shows less than 95% then it means that your Oxygen levels are low.

If SpO2 is 94% or below, the patient must be assessed quickly to identify and treat the cause. SpO2 is less than 90% is a clinical Emergency and should be treated urgently.

Factors Interfereing with the Reading of Oximeter:

• Light or Temp - Light may interfre with the Probe So Keep them away from Light

• Movement - You should not move much during the reading,Be still during the Process.

• Pulse volume – the oximeter only detects pulsatile flow. When the blood pressure is low due to hypovolaemic shock or the cardiac output is low or the patient has an arrhythmia, the pulse may be very weak and the oximeter may not be able to detect a signal

• Cold or Vasoconstrited- The oximeter may fail to detect a signal if the patient is very cold and peripherally vasoconstricted( Vasoconstriction reduces blood flow to the peripheries).

• Carbon monoxide poisoning- It may give a falsely high saturation reading. Carbon monoxide binds very well to haemoglobin and displaces oxygen to form a bright red compound called carboxyhaemoglobin. This is only an issue in patients following smoke and inhalation from a fire.

How to use a Pulse Oximeter:

Using a Pulse oximeter is simple and you can know your blood Oxygen level within seconds.

  1. Rest your body and stay relax.

  2. Sit quietly.

  3. Place your finger in the Oximeter clip.

  4. Wait and stay still while the Oximeter is measuring your Oxygen level.

  5. View the result.

Check out this post,Best Oximeters in India

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