There have been many devices that are developed over the years that have a major impact in our everyday lives. One good example of it is the invention of pulse oximeter. Pulse oximeter is a medical device which monitors indirectly the oxygen saturation of a patient’s blood and changes in blood volume in the skin. It is usually placed on the fingertip or in the earlobe. It is then attached to a medical monitor so that the patient’s oxygenation is seen by the medical staff at all times.
The original oximeter was made by Milliken in the 1940’s. Modern pulse oximeter was developed by Aoyagi at Nihon Kohden in 1972. This oximeter uses red to infrared light absorption at the measuring site. It was then brought to the market by Biox in 1981.
Pulse oximeter has a blood-oxygen monitor which displays the percentage of arterial hemoglobin. Normally, ranges from 95 to 100 percent are desirable. It’s a convenient, non-invasive measurement which has a pair of small light-emitting diodes (LEDs) facing a photodiodes through a translucent part of the body usually a fingertip or an earlobe. There is a significant absorption difference between oxygenated hemoglobin and the deoxygenated form. Calculation of the oxy/deoxyhemoglobin ratio depends on the absorption ratio of the red and infrared light. As the lights passes through the fingertips, the monitor signal bounces along with the heart beat due to the expansion of arterial blood vessels and contraction with each heartbeat.
The pulse oximeter can be used in many places where the patient’s oxygenation is compromised. It may be used in the intensive care unit, operating, emergency, recovery room, hospital wards, and even in a non-pressurized aircraft. It is also useful for patients with cardiac and respiratory problems such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
However, pulse oximeter also has limitations. It cannot monitor the metabolism of oxygen or the amount of oxygen being used by the patient. This means it also necessary to measure carbon dioxide levels in the body. It is important to remember that oximeter is not a complete measure of both respiratory and circulatory sufficiency.
Assessing patient’s need for oxygen is the most essential element in life since no human can survive without it. With the help of the modern discoveries and modern devices, human life is sustained. The pulse oximeter is considered as one of the best medical breakthroughs in the health care field.
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