As we already know, the level of concentration (saturation) of arterial blood with oxygen is one of the main indicators of a normally functioning organism.
The lack of oxygen (hypoxia) causes serious consequences for human health: disruption of the brain, heart and other vital organs.
A diagnostic medical device specially designed to monitor blood oxygen saturation in children and adults is a pulse oximeter. Today I will help you with the tips of how to choose a pulse oximeter.
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How Do I Choose a Pulse Oximeter?
Are you looking for the best pulse oximeter for being always informed about your saturation level?
WellueO2 ring is considered to be pulse oximeter and sleep overnight track has what always gives accurate tracking of all indicators.
It has more features such as oximetry Technologies, waterproof resistance, smart alarms and saturation alerts.
There is no fundamental difference between the 3 types of devices, but today doctors most often use pulse oximeters, which are a clothespin for a finger. This model is also suitable for home use.
Before buying a pulse oximeter pay attention to the following features
|When buying a pulse oximeter, it is important to find the correct form factor and size, and then check the documents for the device.
No need to expect that a device from an unknown manufacturer, bought for 5 dollars on the Internet, will work like a professional one.
Therefore, when buying a device, try to choose devices of well-known brands, and be sure to ask about the presence of a registration certificate.
|When buying a device, it is important to pay attention to the fact that pulse oximeters for children and adults are different in size. And it is important that the device fits in size.
If a child measures the level of oxygen in the blood with an adult device, or vice versa, then the indicator may not be accurate.
|Remember, that good devices take no more than 10 seconds to measure the level of oxygen in the blood after switching on.
|Weight and dimensions
|Standard fingertip pulse oximeters are 5 cm long and 2.5 cm wide on average.
These devices fit easily in your pocket, they can be transported, and they do not take up much storage space at home.
|The screen should be large and the values easy to read. As a rule, OLED and LCD displays are used in portable meters. The first are distinguished by increased clarity, the numbers on them are displayed without interference.
|Choose durable devices made of quality materials that will not stop working at the slightest drop.
Shock-resistant pulse oximeters are convenient to take with you on the road, gym or office.
It is also useful to purchase such a device if there are children at home.
In addition to the basic parameters, many pulse oximeters are equipped with additional features that are useful for using at home:
Convenient latch. It should not cause discomfort, pinch your finger too hard or, conversely, fall off during the measurement.
Various power sources. The usefulness of the meter increases if it can work not only from the mains, but also on a battery, as well as from a car.
Battery. Lithium batteries are more economical and last longer than a battery that runs on conventional batteries that have to be changed constantly.
Automatic shutdown. An optional auto-off setting will save battery power for a longer period if you forget to turn it off manually.
Saving measurements. Some devices have a built-in history saving function. With it, you can track and compare measurement results.
Data transfer. Another advantage of advanced models is the ability to transfer information from the device to a computer, where it will be stored more reliably.
Pulse oximeter readings. How to read it?
To measure saturation, a pulse oximeter should be placed on the terminal phalanx of a finger or toe, or on the earlobe if we are talking about simple fingertip pulse oximeters.
Press the button of a pulse oximeter and wait a few seconds.
Two numbers will appear on the screen – the top one means the percentage of oxygen saturation, the bottom one – your pulse/heart rate monitor.
|These readings can show the problems with breathing, as well as cardiovascular activity. The device allows you to identify this even before the appearance of other symptoms.
Indirect signs of lack of oxygen are blue skin, changes in heart rate, weakness and deterioration in the general condition of the body…
| This parameter shows the heart rate, however, in some cases, the indicators of electrocardiography and pulse oximetry differ.
The explanation for this is the different elasticity of the vessels, blockage of the lumen of the vessel, etc.
Despite this, the pulse oximeter indirectly indicates the state of the heart and helps to identify some disorders.
To obtain more accurate information, it is necessary that monitoring be carried out for 3-5 minutes, although the instructions indicate a sufficient time of 10-20 seconds.
If the nails are manicured with gel polish, the sensor can be placed horizontally by clamping the side surfaces of the phalanx.
A result below 93% may be an indication for referral to hospital.
However, the indicators may fluctuate depending on the position of the body, the depth of breathing; they decrease if the patient has cold fingers and general vasoconstriction.
Types of pulse oximeter
Pulse Oximeters are divided into two types: sports and medical.
|Sport Pulse Oximeter
|This type is used by professional athletes – using a pulse oximeter, they determine the level of stress on the heart and choose the desired training intensity.
Not knowing how hard the heart is loaded during training, you can miss a heart attack.
Therefore, such a device becomes an indispensable assistant.
|Medical Pulse Oximeter
|This Pulse Oximeter is usually used by people who have problems with the cardiovascular system. The device helps them measure:
The functionality of the device allows you to set individual indicators of pressure and pulse.
If for some period of time this data does not correspond to the norm, then the device gives a signal that notifies the owner of his critical condition.
Classification of medical pulse oximeters by design:
|The type of Pulse Oximeter
|Finger (fingertips) pulse oximeters
| These are miniature devices with built-in sensors and clip-on clothespin.
They are easy to operate, but not suitable for long-term monitoring and sport…
|Portable pulse oximeters with remote sensors
| This type of pulse oximeter is also characterized by its compact size.
But such devices have the ability to connect various sensors and the alarm function.
There is also a memory module for storing results and an interface for transferring data to a PC.
|Stationary pulse oximeters
|They are used in medical institutions, where they are installed next to the bed or hang on the wall.
Such devices constantly monitor the patient’s condition, notify staff of critical situations, and can be connected to a printer for printing and prompt interpretation of the results.
Which type of oximeter is best for home use?
In different areas, different types of pulse oximeters are most convenient:
- When used at home or in sports, on-the-ear devices are popular.
- Portable pulse oximeters are used, for example, in emergency medicine.
- Stationary devices are necessary for long-term therapy in a medical institution.
There are varieties of pulse oximeters designed for different age groups of users. Most standard fingertip models do not provide reliable data on young children, as such devices simply do not stick to small fingers.
Why are Pulse Oximeters without Documents Bad?
Devices without supporting documents are more affordable, but they sin with incorrect and unstable readings, and quickly break down…
Why do I need to know my pulse rate?
It is important to know because an increase in heart rate can be caused by physical exertion, stress, due to the presence of chronic diseases of the heart and blood vessels, as well as a sharp decrease in the level of oxygen in the blood.
Since the pulse rate is not a constant value, in order to obtain reliable results, it is recommended to measure heart rate several times with an interval of 3-4 minutes.
What are the disadvantages of Pulse Oximeters?
In some cases, the main disadvantage includes low accuracy.
It may be affected by the presence of other people near the same device. The error increases at high and low temperatures.
Also, the pulse oximeter ring is not suitable for all athletes. Some models do not fit tightly, causing the sensor to move.
What should women know before using a pulse oximeter?
When choosing a pulse oximeter women need to pay attention to its design.
In many cases, it does not go well with the rest of the jewelry, so when using the device, it is better to refuse jewelry.