Monday, December 30, 2013

Different Types of Oximeters

Oximeters are essential for measuring pulse rate and oxygen levels in the blood. It can be attached to various body parts, such as fingers of hands, legs, ears, wrist, and forehead. They are often used by sports enthusiast and people who need to monitor their oxygen levels. Doctors, sleep labs, medical centers, EMTS and professionals in emergency rooms also use oximeters. There are many types of pulse oximeters available that you can choose from. And thus sometimes, people are confused on which oximeter is best for them. Some of the types to consider are fingertip, wrist, tabletop and handheld oximeter. You can also choose between oximeters for adults and child.

different types of oximeters

Fingertip Pulse Oximeter (Hand And Leg)

The finger pulse oximeter is a non-invasive instrument that displays pulse rate and measures blood oxygen levels. Many instruments have multi-directional displays. The equipment can be clipped to the finger on your hand or your leg and may be equipped with internal memory that stores readings. Most fingertip oximeters are small and can be easily carried on person at all times.

Wrist Pulse Oximeter

The wrist worn oximeter is very easy and comfortable to use. The patient can wear it on the wrist. These are portable oximeters. However, when purchasing them for home use, it is recommended that PCI compliance should be ensured for accurate readings.

The patient can opt for a wrist oximeter that has features like long battery life (in case of portable oximeters), enhanced memory and which is also Bluetooth enabled. Some of the wrist equipment contains features making overnight studies easy.

Ear Pulse Oximeter

If the finger pulse oximeter is unable to take pulse reading from your finger, it can also be attached to the earlobe. But there are separate ear probes that need to be purchased.

Forehead Pulse Oximeter

Research has established that monitoring pulse at the forehead may be a better option than the earlobe or finger. Forehead probes need to have good attachment methods and digital signals for accurate reading. If they follow PCI compliance, then they can be a better alternative as they provide better readings than the other aforementioned body parts.

On observing the forehead pulse oximeters available at present, a favorable monitoring response time has been observed. It was also observed that while the response time is fast, signal strengths are low and therefore, there is a margin for error. But, new probes are being manufactured for better results.

Adult vs Pediatric Oximeters

Different oximeters are used for adults and children. The above oximeters can be used for adults as they can be adjusted and attached to different body parts. However, in children, it is more difficult to keep them stable.

Pediatric oximeters can read heart rate and measure oxygen levels from the fingers of the hand or feet. A handheld oximeter is best suited for pediatric purpose. It comes with a sensor that has been manufactured after consideration of the weight and the size of the child. In some cases, pediatricians also use forehead or ear oximeters but only if the weight of the child is over 50 lbs.

Portable vs. Tabletop Oximeters

While oximeters are easily available, their size varies according to the place of their use. For example, a person wishing to use an oximeter at home would want a portable or handheld instrument for ease of use. Similarly, professionals in emergency rooms would also prefer more portability, while a physician would want a tabletop oximeter in his office.

When measuring heart rate or oxygen levels, care should be taken so that the readings are as accurate as possible.
  • Fingers should be clear of any pigment or nail varnish.
  • Patient movement should be avoided.
In addition, any bright light shining on the probe affects the reading as does carbon monoxide poisoning and poor perfusion.

Concord Health Supply carries a wide selection of pulse oximeters for purchase. If you have any questions or want to know more about which oximeter is the best for you, please call us at 1.888.970.2999.