Friday, April 25, 2014

Pulse Oximetry 101: History, Functions & Uses

A Brief History of Pulse Oximetry

Pulse Oximetry, which is a method for measuring and monitoring the oxygen saturation or percentage of oxygen in a patient's blood, has been around since the 1970s. Pulse Oximeters first became commercially available in the early 1980s. It was then that this technology started being used widely in hospital operating rooms for monitoring oxygen levels of surgical patients undergoing procedures involving anesthesia.

Pulse Oximetry 101: History, Functions & UsesPrior to the availability of pulse-ox equipment, blood oxygen levels of patients in operating theaters were determined by doing arterial blood gas testing in a laboratory. This process of collection and processing of blood was time consuming; often taking longer than it would take for a patient to go brain dead from lack of oxygen while on the operating table.

By the middle 1980s, pulse oximetry was being used in all operating rooms in the U.S. where anesthesia was being used. This was an incredibly important advancement for surgeons and anesthetists in providing more accurate patient monitoring. Soon the use of these devices became common in recovery rooms, intensive care units and even on emergency vehicles responding to medical emergencies in the field.

Now, pulse oximeter come in a variety of sizes and can be used by hospitals, EMTs, in-house patients and those who are into adventure sports. The main purpose is to monitor the blood oxygen saturation level in the blood.

Saving Lives Also Extends to CO2 Monitoring

Besides the ability to get accurate readings on SpO2, another important step in patient care came through the advancements made in capnography, which is the discipline involved in measuring and monitoring carbon dioxide (CO2) output of a patient. The ability to have a precise CO2 measurement is also an important factor in the management of administering anesthesia during a surgical procedure. In the field, EMS crews use capnography when putting an endotrachael tube in place to ensure it's located properly. An improperly placed airway can lead to patient death and, with an accurate readout of CO2 gases, proper placement can be verified.

Sleep apnea, which is breathing disorder affecting individuals while they're sleeping, often goes undetected by those suffering from the condition. It involves bouts of shallow breathing or stopped breathing that can last anywhere from several seconds to minutes. In cases where sleep apnea is suspected in a patient, pulse oximetry can be used in the patient's home to determine if blood oxygen levels are being compromised during nighttime sleep. Even though an individual may be ignorant to the sleep apnea from which he/she is suffering, the effects of low oxygen in the blood and lack of deep sleep will be debilitating.

Why Measure Blood Oxygen Levels?

Oxygen saturation is a term that refers to the concentration of O2 in the blood, expressed as a percentage. Another word for oxygen saturation is oxygenation, and it is usually written in the medical community as SpO2. The human body requires and automatically strives for a precise balance of oxygen in the blood. Normal levels of oxygenation in arterial blood are between 95-100%, with anything lower than 90% considered hypoxic. A blood oxygen level of less than 80% is a serious situation that could soon result in organs such as the heart and/or brain deteriorating to the point of causing cardiac or respiratory arrest.

Pulse Oximeters are able to precisely measure the blood's SpO2 in a patient wearing the device on a finger. The pulse-ox device sends out two separate light beams, one red and one infrared, which travel from one side of the finger to the other, where it strikes a photo-detector. The measurement made is related to how these two light beams change when traveling through the arterial blood in the finger and a relationship is made between the difference between oxygen poor venous blood and oxygen rich arterial blood.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Concord Topaz Digital Finger Pulse Oximeter Review

The Concord Topaz Digital Finger Pulse Oximeter is a device that is used to measure how oxygen-saturated a patient’s blood is. Pulse oximeters are often used for in-patient care and in emergency situations. However, many people will benefit from having the Concord Topaz Digital Finger Pulse Oximeter. Patients who have respiratory or cardiac problems can benefit from using this product in their home. Pulse oximeters are often recommended for patients who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder and sleep apnea. Athletes who have experienced a decrease in oxygen levels at high altitudes or during strenuous exercise will also benefit from this product.

Concord Topaz Digital Finger Pulse Oximeter

Additionally, people who are looking for a simple, non-invasive way to monitor their health at home should consider using the Concord Topaz Oximeter. This fingertip pulse oximeter is very efficient and easy to use. It has a one button operation. All you will have to do is clip the product to your finger and push the button, and you will get a reading. It will automatically power off after eight seconds. Because this product is very simple to use, it can be used by both adults and children.

One of the reasons that this product is ideal for home use is because it is very accurate. It is also very reliable. The ease of use is another thing that makes the Concord Topaz Digital Fingertip Pulse Oximeter a great choice for home use.

This product uses advanced technology to monitor oxygen saturation in the blood, as well as pulse strength and pulse rate. The oxygen saturation is displayed at the top of the device. The pulse rate is displayed at the bottom.

Other product features include:
  • A two-year warranty
  • Three AAA batteries, which can last for up to 30 hours of continuous operation
  • Canvas case that has a belt loop attachment included
  • Free neck lanyard included
  • LED display, which will allow you to read in bright light or dark
  • Low battery indicator is displayed on the LED

This product is also eligible for free shipping when you buy it on Concord Health Supply.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Concord Basics Finger Pulse Oximeter Review

A pulse oximeter is not only beneficial for emergency and in-patient care but is also a useful tool for out-patient care as well. Those who may find a portable pulse oximeter necessary may be patients with chronic cardiac and respiratory issues, patients with other varying medical conditions, people who have sleep apnea or trouble breathing during their slumber, pilots flying an aircraft where additional oxygen is needed, and even athletes who may experience decreasing oxygen levels due to strenuous exercise or high altitudes. Generally, it’s for anyone who needs to keep a close eye on their blood-oxygen saturation levels, and the Concord Basics Finger Pulse Oximeter does this and more.

With a large screen, this Concord portable pulse oximeter clearly displays your blood-oxygen saturation percentage at the bottom and your pulse rate at the top. The bright red LED screen makes the oximeter easy to read any time throughout the day, whether you’re monitoring during the light of day or the dark of night. Everything you need is labeled on the screen in front of you: your saturation percentage, heart rate, pulse strength measurements, and a low battery indicator as well. This basic pulse oximeter is child-friendly due to its straightforward design and one button operation. With a simple push of a button and clip of a finger, you can receive all of your blood-oxygen measurements and have it turn off automatically after 5 seconds of non-use. For children and adults alike, this oximeter can monitor your health with the same non-invasive method as hospitals - all in the comfort of your own home.

The Concord Basics Digital Finger Pulse Oximeter comes with the following:

  • 2-AAA batteries
  • A durable, canvas carrying case w/ belt loop hook
  • Neck lanyard
  • Shock resistant rubber cover for protection
  • Choice of 4 different colors: white, yellow, blue or black
  • Custom foam-padded packaging
  • 1 year warranty