Thursday, December 11, 2014

Top 5 Medical Pulse Oximeter Uses

Prior to the 1980s, when pulse oximetry started being used in hospital operating rooms, blood oxygenation of patients was determined through arterial blood gas tests which took several minutes to accomplish. At the time, medical journals estimated that between 2,000-10,000 patients died per year as a result of hypoxemia (low blood oxygen) that went undetected in the O.R.

With the introduction of pulse oximetry, continuous blood oxygen levels could be monitored, greatly increasing patient safety. By 1987, the use of pulse oximeters in the O.R. became the standard when general anesthetic was used. Soon, the use of oximeters spread to recovery rooms, intensive care units and neonatal units, where proper oxygen levels are of critical importance to newborn patients.

Pulse Oximeter Uses

The Growing In-Home Use of Pulse Oximetry

With the ease of operation and inexpensive cost of today's pulse oximeters, they're now prescribed for in-home use by doctors for monitoring the oxygen saturation level of patients suffering from a variety of conditions. A recent research report (2011) estimated that the annual market in the U.S. alone for pulse oximetry equipment (units and sensors) was more than $700 million. It has also been found that more than half of the medical equipment manufacturers in China, that export internationally, are involved in the manufacturing of pulse oximeters.

Top Medical Reasons You Need a Pulse Oximeter

  1. COPD, or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, is a lung condition that's characterized by poor airflow. Major symptoms include a chronic cough and shortness of breath. While there is no known cure, treatment includes the administration of supplemental oxygen. Use of a pulse oximeter will allow a patient to monitor their level of oxygen saturation and to know when more or less supplemental oxygen is needed.
  2. Shortness of breath is a symptom of a number of medical conditions that may require the administration of supplemental oxygen and require the use of a pulse oximeter to monitor blood oxygen levels. These may include emphysema, chronic bronchitis and mesothelioma.
  3. Sleep Apnea is a sleep disorder in which the sufferer experiences pauses in breathing while asleep. These pauses can last anywhere between a few seconds to several minutes. During these pauses, sufficient amounts of oxygen are not brought into the lungs and high levels of carbon dioxide build up. Treatment for this condition may include the administration of pressurized air into the throat. A pulse oximeter is often utilized during sleep studies to determine if an individual is a victim of apnea.
  4. Patients suffering from pulmonary or cardiac diseases will often have their blood oxygenation negatively affected and may be required to have supplemental oxygen available if needed. In this case, having a pulse oximeter to have an indicator of blood oxygen levels is essential.
  5. Respiratory depression may be induced by use of sedatives or by those suffering from shock or cranial pressure. Monitoring blood oxygen levels may be important in these instances, necessitating in-home use of a pulse oximeter.

If you are suffering from any of these conditions, visit Concord Health Supply for your health care and oximetry needs.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Blood Pressure Monitoring

Blood pressure is something that doctors refer to very often – and with good reason. Every time you visit your physician, no matter what the problem is, you’ll notice that they always check your blood pressure. Blood pressure plays a very important role in our bodily functions and provides a signal of overall health. In fact, it is safe to say that blood pressure is at the core of our body functions. A small change in the blood pressure can lead to various problems and health issues. Here’s a bit of background on exactly what blood pressure is, why it’s important, and how to keep yours in check. 

Blood Pressure - The Core of Our Body

Blood pressure is the pressure of the blood in the circulatory system – seems almost too simple to be true, right? But it really is that simple. Without the pressure that forces the blood through our body, no oxygen or nutrients can be supplied to vital organs and tissues. Too low a pressure means your heart isn’t working hard enough, a sign of cardiac problems, while too high a pressure means you’re overstressed and the heart is working far too hard.  Blood pressure monitoring looks at the force and rate of the heartbeat since it is related to the rate at which your heart pumps blood. It can also be measured through the elasticity and width of your artery walls. For example, when our arteries are clogged, it takes a lot more pressure for the heart to pump blood and send it through the body.

How Do We Measure Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is measured with a simple cuff that is put around your arm. Blood pressure  is measured in two numbers – systolic and diastolic. Both these numbers are written as a ratio. The systolic number is usually the higher of the two numbers and and measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats.  A reading of less than 120 usually means everything is normal. On the other hand, the diastolic number measures the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats. A number less than 80 usually means the blood pressure is normal. When the cuff of your personal blood pressure monitor (or your doctor’s) is placed around your arm and pumped, the cuff is cutting off blood flow with the pressure exerted by the cuff. When the pressure is released, the blood starts flowing again. During this time, the doctor or your electronic blood pressure monitor can analyze the blood flow with the stethoscope. The number at which the blood starts flowing is the systolic number. When the sound stops while the pressure is being released, that is the diastolic number.

The Importance of Measuring Blood Pressure

Both high and low blood pressure are bad for the body. In extreme cases, high and low blood pressure can be life threatening. High blood pressure can be caused by stress, an adrenaline rush, or certain hormones. A high blood pressure can lead to artery damage and narrowing causing the heart to pump harder. It can also cause heart failure, stroke, coronary artery disease, kidney failure, and more. On the other hand, low blood pressure can cause dizziness, dehydration, blurred vision, depression, and nausea amongst other issues. Thus, it is important to keep your blood pressure in check on a regular basis to avoid health problems. Blood pressure is not a complete picture of health, however – you still need a digital oximeter to monitor the concentration of blood oxygen levels, for instance. The blood might be pumping at a normal pace, but if it’s not well saturated with oxygen, it’s not useful to the body.

Devices that Can Help Monitor Blood Pressure

Gone are the times when you had to see a physician to get your blood pressure checked. With today’s advances in technology, blood pressure can be kept under control at home or on the go. In addition, blood pressure monitors have turned into simple automatic devices to be used by everyone. Today there is a wide array of non-invasive blood pressure monitors available, which are simple to use and affordable. Some monitors are also automatic and all you need to do is put it around your arm and press a button while it monitors your blood pressure.

One such device is the Elite Automatic Electronic Blood Pressure Monitor. With its sleek design, automatic inflation, easy-to-use button and digital reading display, it is one of the most user-friendly machines available. Find it today, along with oximeters and more at Concord Health Supply – your source for health monitoring equipment.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Product Review of Kenek iPhone Oximeter

Keeping a check on your oxygen level and heart rate is becoming easier with the improvements in technology. In the past, the hospital was the only place where your blood oxygen concentration could be monitored. Today, oximeters are amongst the most common medical devices, inexpensive and portable, allowing for readings anywhere. Now, it’s even simpler to monitor your SpO2 concentration by turning your smartphone or tablet into an oximeter.

The Kenek iPhone Oximeter allows you to turn your iPhone, iPad or iOS device into a fully functional digital oximeter. Developed by doctors and engineers, the Kenek is not only simple to use – requiring no separate power source for the oximeter and one-touch operation – but powerful, offering tracking and monitoring options found on oximeters which cost several times more. 

Features of the Kenek iPhone Oximeter

The Kenek iPhone Oximeter is a non-invasive, fingertip, and portable device that can be taken with you no matter where you go with your smartphone. All you need to do is download the app onto your iPhone,  iPad, or iPod, plug in the oximeter into the headphone jack, and get your readings. The Kenek Edge app stores several months of data and offers historical data, trending, and the ability to send your information to a medical professional. No network connection required, no batteries, and the Kenek Edge application is completely free. 

If you’re looking for an affordable oximeter device with plenty of features, the Kenek Edge delivers. The Kenek iPhone Oximeter is compatible with any iOs version 7 and later. The Kenek Edge app can be used on the iPhone 4, 4S, 5, 5 C&S. In case you want to save up on your phone battery, the oximeter can also be used with the iPad 2, 3, Air, Mini, Mini Retina and also the iPod Touch 5.

Don’t wait any longer to keep your health in check. Get the Kenek iPhone Oximeter today for just $44.95 from Concord Health Supply.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tips to Maintain Your Oximeter

Once limited to hospitals and critical care environments, oximeters are now a common medical tool used by individuals and hospitals alike. With purposes ranging from blood oxygen concentration monitoring in critical care individuals to allowing athletes to perform at their physical peaks when combined with one of the many affordable oximeters available, oximeters are now one of the most common pieces of medical technology in the world.

Like any piece of equipment, an oximeter requires some periodic maintenance to be able to complete its functions. From tabletop critical care monitoring systems to the smallest, simplest fingertip pulse oximeters, the requirements of oximeter maintenance are fairly consistent across models. Listed below are the things you’ll need to check out every few months to ensure your oximeter is delivering accurate readings. 
  1. Battery and Power Source – Small fingertip oximeters typically run on AAA batteries, and more advanced models utilize a rechargeable battery pack. If the batteries are drained, or otherwise not transmitting their power properly to the device, readings can become inaccurate and the display will not work correctly. Also, batteries can decay if left inside devices for months or years without replacement. This can cause severe damage to the oximeters and might end up spoiling the device completely. Check your batteries every 2-3 months depending on use; and for hardwired devices, make sure to examine the power supply every 3-6 months to ensure everything’s working properly. 

  2. Cleaning – Over time, oximeters will become dirty from the oils on your fingers, dead skin, and from handling. Buildup of these materials can cause inaccurate readings and damage to the device. Since oximeters make contact with skin, in some instances, they can transfer bacteria and illnesses. In order to keep your oximeter working properly and ensure your safety, all that’s needed is the occasional treatment with alcohol wipes. 

  3. Testing – After replacing batteries and cleaning the oximeter, you may want to test your oximeter to ensure readings are proper. There are a few different ways to test the effectiveness of your oximeter – here’s a helpful example video. Be sure to inspect for damage to the device, dead pixels on the LED display, and other issues.
By following these steps, you’ll ensure that your oximeter continues to provide you with accurate readings so that you can ensure your health and safety. Be sure to visit us at Concord Health Supply for oximeter batteries, alcohol wipes, and a wide range of oximeters and related accessories.

Friday, July 25, 2014

LungBoost Respiratory Trainer

There are many reasons individuals seek to improve lung capacity. For some, it’s a matter of athletic performance – wanting to be able to compete at a higher level for extended periods of time. This is exceptionally true in sports where breathing becomes a major factor – swimming, for example, the higher your lung capacity, the longer you can swim between breaths. For others, it’s a matter of quality of life – wanting to be able to improve their overall health and fitness.

The LungBoost Respiratory Trainer from ChoiceMMed is the ideal tool for improving your lung capacity and general respiratory health. Used in situations ranging from hospital recovery from smoke inhaliation and respiratory illnesses to athletic training facilities, the LungBoost is one of the most effective respiratory training devices available. Breate easier, feel better, and improve your performance. Multiple studies show that a respiratory trainer, in addition to fitness programs, improves the strength and endurance of your respiratory muscles.

Why should you choose LungBoost Respiratory Trainer over the competition? Simply put, LungBoost is one of the most effective products on the market, offering:  

  • Both low-intensity (rehabiliation and general fitness) and high-intensity (aerobic fitness/athletic performance) training modes.
  • Six resistance levels and five positions to truly customize your training experience to your needs. 
  • Real time display on a large, clear electronic monitor. 
  • Internal memory to keep track of your progress and set goals.
If you’re ready to improve your athletic performance or improve your overall health, LungBoost can help.  Get it today at Concord Health Supply, and visit us for more medical devices which help improve your health!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Critical Care Monitoring – EtCO2 / SpO2

Pulse oximetry is one of the most useful practices in the world of critical care medicine, allowing professionals to get a quick read on blood oxygen levels and use that data in diagnosis and in determining the need for supplemental oxygen. Because of their simplicity, pulse oximeters are common in several healthcare service levels ranging from ICU / critical care (to monitor the oxygenation of a patient) to recovery after reconstructive (to ensure oxygenated blood is reaching affected areas).

Nonin Handheld CO2 Monitor
However, oximetry has its limitations – it can only provide so much information, and sometimes, other tools are required to ensure patient health. Pulse oximetry works by refraction and only measures hemoglobin (oxygenated blood) saturation – not ventilation or metabolism of the oxygen. Sometimes, an oximeter alone doesn’t give you the entire picture of data needed to make critical medical decisions. For example, in patients with severe anemia, the blood can be 100% saturated and will give an oximeter reading as such, but will not be effective because blood that has been affected by severe anemia, even at full saturation, will not contain enough oxygen to be effective within the body.


A common supplement and method used in conjunction with oximetry is capnography monitoring. One of the issues with an oximeter is that you’re only measuring oxygen levels in blood - not the concentration or pressure of carbon dioxide, which are critical for respiratory function (the removal of CO2 from the body). You could still have a very high oxygen saturation number, but if the CO2 isn’t being removed from the bloodstream, that will eventually cause several health concerns. In order to be able to get the full picture of respiratory health, you’ll have to be able to gauge both EtCO2 concentrations and Sp02 (blood oxygen saturation).

According to the American Society of Anesthesiologists, 93% of avoidable anesthesia mishaps can be prevented by employing both a pulse oximeter and capnography monitor. These two tools in conjunction give a much better gauge of respiratory health then either device can provide alone.

In addition to having the largest selection of oximetry devices you’ll find anywhere, Concord Health Supply offers several devices for CO2 monitoring including our critical care EtCO2 oximeter, the LifeSense Tabletop Capnography EtCO2 and Pulse Oximetry monitor, and the Nonin Handheld CO2 and Pulse Oximetry Monitor. Check out our selection today to get both capabilities in one device.

Monday, June 16, 2014

LifeSense Tabletop Capnography and Pulse Oximetry Monitor

Capnography is becoming recognized as a critical component of patient monitoring. Capnography is the measurement of carbon dioxide concentration within exhaled gases, and serves as a monitor of partial pressure in the arterial blood. Paramedics and medical professionals utilize capnography monitoring to ensure that respiration remains steady during intubation and during anesthesia – a rise in the ETC02 levels can be an indicator of hypoventilation, drops can indicate hyperventilation. Particularly in critical care environments and with patients who have pre-existing respiratory issues, a capnography monitor can prove to be a life-saving tool by helping to diagnose these issues swiftly.

Capnography was once something limited to only the ICU, but this capability is now available in a consumer product. The LifeSense Tabletop Capnography and Pulse Oximetry Monitor is one of the only products available which allows for continuous EtCO2 monitoring in a compact package. Engineered by the experts at Nonin, the LifeSense Monitor provides accurate EtC02 and Sp02 monitoring in seconds – a key component in critical care situations.

In addition to accurate monitoring of EtCO2 on the first breath, the LifeSense monitor offers a widescreen, touch-panel display with continuous monitoring and waveform display, allowing accurate readings down to the second. This waveform is monitored for 4 hours with trending monitoring, giving medical professionals the data they need to make accurate decisions regarding the care of their patients. The widescreen display also delivers numerical data display through its backlit LCD, with both audible and visual alarms, offering an unmatched level of monitoring and making it easy for medical professionals to access that data. Data can also be exported via RS-232, offering yet even more capability to this device.

Effective for both intubated and non-intubated patients, the LifeSense Tabletop monitor is the ideal tool for critical care EtCO2 monitoring. From gauging the efficiency of CPR to verifying tube placements, this compact tabletop monitor is the ideal tool for patient monitoring. It combines the functions of both a full-fledge capnography monitor and pulse oximeter into one convenient, useful device.

Learn more about the LifeSense Tabletop Capnography and Pulse Oximetry Monitor, and other monitoring tools for respiration, at Concord Health Supply today!