For people who have visited a doctor, they might experience getting clipped by a small device on their fingertips. This device is called a pulse oximeter, and it is commonly used to measure the levels of oxygen on the blood. Read more about the process of measuring oxygen levels on this website.
The small pulses can detect if there are changes and how the oxygen is carried out even in the farthest parts of the body from the heart. These include the extremities such as the arms and the feet. The process is painless and accurate.
The clip is attached, the healthcare provider waits for several minutes, and they interpret the results. The device can be put on the earlobes, toes, or fingers. In some cases where the patient is about to undergo an operation, the oximeters should be especially present to monitor slight changes in oxygen.
The Purpose of Pulse Oximeters
The devices which are commonly attached to the fingertips has a lot of uses. They are for patients who have specific medical conditions and who need to be closely monitored. In hospital settings, the device is ideal for people who have asthma, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and congenital heart defects.
The uses can include several things, such as the following: The doctor can accurately assess if the new medication is working for patients who have lung problems. They can evaluate if a patient can still breathe in oxygen while being intubated.
Most surgeons can still monitor the progress of the heart of a patient under sedation. They can determine if supplemental oxygen therapies are needed, and they can evaluate whether a patient has stopped breathing throughout the night.
How the Process Works
During a reading, a small device is clipped to the fingers. The small beams of light pass through the fingers and go through the bloodstream. The light beams measure the oxygen levels, and it does these through the process of light absorption. The process is painless, and it doesn’t require any additional medication. The heart rate can also be determined using this device.
The Procedures Included
There are specific procedures that in-patients and out-patients should follow. There are cases where your doctor may require you to get your very own pulse oximeter so that you can monitor your health even if you are at home.
If this is the case with you, you can always get the best pulse oximeter on fingertip at a very affordable price from a trusted manufacturer. The readings must be accurate, and when you repeatedly do the tests during short intervals, the readings and results should not be too far from each other.
The process includes the following: The device is placed on your fingers. You may feel a little pressure, but there should be no pinching. Most people reported that the process is painless for them, so this is not a cause for worry. Some nurses may attach the device to your forehead with the help of adhesive tapes. If this is the case, be sure that you should not move much to have accurate readings. It is advisable to remove any nail polish if they are present on your fingers as well.
The probe will be kept for as long as it monitors the saturation of oxygen and pulse levels in your body. If you have a device at home and are doing rigorous workouts, the measuring of your heart rate should be done whenever you are on the period of recovery.
If you have just undergone surgery, you need the probe to be attached before the entire procedure starts. This is to ensure that you have a stable pulse while the operation is ongoing. You can read more about this process here: https://www.cochrane.org/CD002013/ANAESTH_does-monitoring-oxygen-level-with-a-pulse-oximeter-during-and-after-surgery-improve-patient-outcomes. Most health practitioners will remove the device once you are under-recovery, and you no longer need any close supervision. It can take a single day for you to wear the device, and in other cases, ten minutes should be more than enough.
Interpreting the Results
With a legitimate device, except that the results will be reasonably accurate. If you are using the device personally at home, you need to have a hospital-grade pulse oximeter that doctors use in their clinics. The results should be consistent, and if there are some differences, it should not be more than 2%.
For the readings, if the device shows you a result of 84%, the real value of oxygen saturation in your blood can be anywhere from 82% to 86%. But it is also essential to consider the waveform and the assessment of the individual. Several factors, such as temperature, movement, and nail polishes, can affect the accuracy of the tests, so one should be careful in getting the results.
The average level of saturation is around 95%. Any less than that can mean a deficiency in oxygen or the potential of getting hypoxemia. If you don’t feel well and your results show consistent numbers that are lower than 92%, call your doctor immediately.