Pulse oximeter is a device that are used to measure amount of oxygen in the blood. It consists of a monitor in which oxygen levels is seen in percentage values. Red blood cells absorb the light which is measured by the other side of the probe. An average amount of several pulses must be detected in order for the oximeter to work. Low blood and a weak pulse leave the pulse oximeter to detect inaccurate results.
There are four main types of oximeter: bedside, wrist, hand held and finger type. Each type has several of models to choose from. A bedside oximeter is typically used in stationary medical facility and suited for non ambulatory patients such as those who are chronically ill. Wrist oximeter is those usually used by individuals involved in sports activities and is used for sleep monitoring.
The handheld type can be seen in hospital. It is commonly used in doctor’s offices and emergency medical services because of its portability and affordability as compared to bedside units. It is similar to the fingertip device but it has a more versatile clip with a cord connecting to a computer. It is clipped onto a patient’s fingertip or earlobe and it uses light to measure blood’s hemoglobin. It is usually used in the cases where patient’s extremities are compromised and blood flow is impeded. In cases of extreme emergency, health professionals clip handheld oximeter at the patient’s toe.
Fingertip oximeter is the most known and is widely used in medical institutions and even at homes. It is appealing to individuals since it is easy to operate, affordable and handy. It is clipped on the patient’s fingertips in which a light is emitted and measured from one side and another. The computer measures the light over several pulses and renders a value reading of the blood-oxygen level. However, pulse oximeter may not give an accurate reading if there is blood flow occlusion due to injury.
There are still other kinds of oximeter. One type is the fetal pulse oximeter which is used to assess the oxygen level of a fetus and can also measure the baby’s heart beat. Probes are inserted into the birth canal and placed on the baby’s skull. The sensor shoots light across the probe and measures the hemoglobin level on the scalp.
You can choose among these types of oximeter best suited to you. However, medical consultation with your health provider is essential to attain a correct interpretation of the results.
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