Pulse oximeters are medical devices commonly used throughout the healthcare industry to measure percent oxygen saturation and pulse rate
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If you are looking for a way to measure the level of oxygen using an invasive method then pulse oximeter would be the right choice. The device can measure the level of oxygen accurately and it is a simple procedure. Just fix the probe of the device to the finger and measure the oxygen level in blood and heart beat accurately. The device also shows a graphical display that acts as an indicator to know the oxygen level. In case if there is a vasoconstriction then the device would not be able to give the right output graph.
Lights of 2 types with different wavelength originate from the wrist pulse oximeter. The two different wavelengths are 650nm and 805nm. Light absorption by hemoglobin varies between saturated and de-saturated oxygen.
The processor of the portable pulse oximeter calculates the ratio of oxygenated blood to deoxygenated blood and it gives the percentage of oxygen present in the blood. If there is any vasoconstriction or if the flow of blood is restricted then the device cannot give accurate signals.
Normally the probe has to be fixed to the ear lobe or finger of the person.
There are few precautions that needs to be followed before using the device
(1)First thing you need to make sure is that the person has stable peripheral vascular function.
(2)Clean the probe completely, if possible using a disinfectant solution.
(3)Nail polish has to be removed from the finger completely otherwise the signals cannot get transmitted through it accurately.
(4)If you feel there is an error in reading then change the probe and use a new one.
(5)Make sure the circulation of blood is adequate by checking the site of probe.
(6)Try to replace the probe at least once in 6 months or 1 year.
(7)If it is for infants or elderly patients, closely monitor them and make sure that the device gives accurate readings.
Limitations of pulse oximeter
The oximeter device also has its own limitations and there are few error sources that can occur in the device. In patients suffering from hypotension there is a possibility for loss of signal and the underlying cause has to be fixed to get accurate readings. Fluids must be administered to overcome this problem.
Intense bright light must be avoided while using pulse oximeter. Fluorescent bright light can interfere with the sensor and lead to inaccurate readings.
If there is any body movement of the person then it can causes changes in the reading. Shivering and muscle twitching can affect the output reading. In order to get accurate readings wait until shivering stops.