What is Pulse oxymeter/Oximeter?
An oximeter is used by patients for measuring the oxygen level in the blood and heart rate. It is used at hospitals, outpatients, rehabilitation centres, home-visit nursing, respiratory function tests, eldercare facilities. Oxygen saturation is a symbol of insufficient oxygen flow in the body and particularly to the important organ such as the lung.
How does an Oximeter work?
The transmission of light principle is used in an Oximeter. Through LEDs, red and infrared light are supplied to the finger on which it is placed. The transmitted light is then received by the photodetector. Due to the difference in the absorption properties of the oxygenated and deoxygenated blood, the amount of oxygen in the blood can be calculated.
Index finger is the most common place to fit the oximeter.
Types Of Oximeters
- Finger Pulse Oximeters–It is portable and most convenient for patients who are at home and want to keep a check on their blood oxygen level
- Handheld Pulse Oximeters– It delivers pulse oximetry wherever spot-checking is needed, it stands up in a variety of environment during an emergency
- Wrist Pulse Oximeters–This is not a medical device and is perfect for people playing sports who want to keep a check on their oxygen levels during playing and for home use
- Pediatric Pulse Oximeters–These are manufactured to be able to read oxygen and heart rate from primarily the toes and/or fingers of neonates, infants and children
Specifications of an Oximeter
- Measures Spo2(peripheral capillary oxygen saturation) along with pulse rate
- Inbuilt beep alarm
- Detects irregular heartbeat
- Works on the oscillometric method
- Detects body movement hence gives a more accurate reading
- Readings display on the screen along with OLED dual colour display
Features of an Oximeter
- Small, lightweight
- Low power consumption
- User friendly
Used for –
- Vital sign monitoring during operations and anaesthesia.
- Diagnosis of sleep disorders
- Shortness of breath
- COPD, Asthma
- Heart problems
- While exercising or any other activity which needs more oxygen supply
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the purpose of an oximeter?
It is used to measure your oxygen saturation level at any time, such as at home, at work or during recreation.
2. How do I determine the accuracy of an oximeter?
Pulse oximeters are typically less accurate below saturations of about 75 – 80 %. A calibration graph is available to correct the errors.
3. How do I clean/sterilize the probe after usage?
Wipe exposed surfaces with a soft cloth or a pad moistened with a mild detergent solution or medical alcohol.SpO2 Sensors can be cleaned and disinfected with the same solutions. Let the sensor dry before using it again. The rubber inside of the SpO2 sensor belongs to medical rubber, which has no toxin and no harmful to the skin of the human being
4. What is pulse oxymetry?
It is a noninvasive method for monitoring a person's oxygen saturation (SO2).
5. What is SpO2?
It is a person's oxygen saturation (SO2).
6. I get a ‘’weak signal’’ icon, what does it mean?
Due to the reduction in blood flow, the sensor may not be able to pick up adequately the pulsatile waveform resulting in no signal or loss of accuracy. The reduction in blood flow may be due to hypovolemia, hypotension, and hypothermia.
7. I get a ‘’sensor off” icon, what does it mean?
The finger is not plugged correctly or the patient’s SpO2 value is too low to be measured.