A pulse oximeter is a medical device that measures the amount of oxygen in the blood. It is used to monitor the health of people with respiratory or cardiac diseases.
How is an oximeter used?
To use an oximeter, it is placed on a finger (usually the thumb, index, or middle finger) and it will turn on automatically. The device emits light and detects the amount of oxygen-saturated hemoglobin in the blood. The results are displayed on a screen in real-time.
What types of oximeters are there?
There are two main types of oximeters on the market: optical pulse oximeters and fingertip pulse oximeters. Optical pulse oximeters are worn on the wrist and are used to measure heart rate and blood oxygen saturation. Fingertip pulse oximeters are more portable and can be used anywhere.
In addition, there are specific oximeters for home use and others for professional use in hospitals or clinics. Some oximeters also have additional functions, such as heart rate measurement and alarm in case of low blood oxygen levels.
Reasons why an oximeter reading may be incorrect
Several factors can hinder the correct reading of an oximeter:
- Movement: If the finger with the oximeter moves too much, it can affect the accuracy of the reading. It is important to keep your finger still while taking the measurement.
- Blood Circulation: If blood circulation is weak, it can be difficult to get an accurate reading. This can be a problem in people with heart or circulatory diseases or in the case of cold fingers.
- Skin tone: Dark skin or tattooed skin can affect the accuracy of the reading, as the light used by the oximeter can be absorbed by dark skin.
- Environmental Conditions: Bright light or moisture may interfere with the accuracy of the reading.
- Low Battery: If the oximeter’s battery is low, it can affect the accuracy of the reading.
It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and make sure the oximeter is working properly before taking a measurement. If there is any doubt about the accuracy of the reading, it is best to repeat the measurement or consult a health professional.
For all of the above, it is important to find a reliable and accurate oximeter to obtain reliable results. It is advisable to consult a health professional before buying.