How does it work?The technology is relatively simple. The oximeter uses a sensor that is placed over a thin part of the patient's body, typically the fingertip or earlobe to measure the oxygen levels. It takes measurements using a photo detector that is reading two wavelengths that pass through the patient's body. The absorption rate of the light is then measured. The readings focus on the arterial blood, measuring the de-oxygenated and oxygenated hemoglobin.
Who can use it?A Pulse Oximeter is commonly used in two scenarios: in medical/hospital and at home. At home, a person with asthma, respiratory problems, sleep apnea or anyone who is concerned with their blood oxygen level can use it. They are also used by sports & recreation enthusiasts such as mountain climbers, pilots, scuba divers, and athletes.
In the medical and hospital area, it is used to monitor patients before, during and after a procedure or surgery. It is also beneficial when monitoring patients who are in critical conditions as well. They are largely found in a hospital setting in wards such as the emergency room, operating room and the intensive care unit. Doctors, dentists, EMTs and firefighters also use this device to monitor the oxygen levels in their patient. The devices are highly versatile, allowing them to be used on patients of any age, although, devices designed for infants are typically outfitted to be placed over the foot or toe.
What are the different types of oximeters?Some of the popular types of oximeters that you could choose from are:
- Finger Tip Pulse Oximeters
- Handheld Pulse Oximeters
- Tabletop Pulse Oximeters
- Wrist-worn Pulse Oximeters
What should I look for?Many oximeter devices have different features that you could choose from. We suggest you pick the one that satisfied your basic requirements. Here are some features that we recommend you look at:
- High level of accuracy
- Simple Display screen that are easy to read
- Single-touch operation
- Compact and lightweight design
- Efficient power usage. E.g. 30 hours on a single battery
- Neck/wrist cords and carrying case along with good warranties
- Alarms to indicate high/low oxygen levels or pulse rates.