To date, there is no cure for coronavirus yet, so doctors are trying to treat the symptoms of the disease. In case of complications, more serious measures are already being taken. One of the possible complications is respiratory failure. To identify the risk of developing such a condition in the early stages, special devices allow – pulse oximeters.
The human lungs, together with the cardiovascular system, continuously work to saturate the arterial blood with oxygen. When the coronavirus affects the respiratory system, blood gas exchange, the balance of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the blood begin to be disrupted, because this is the function of the lungs.
These changes can be identified by observing the dynamics of the degree of blood oxygen saturation.
Why pulse oximeters became so popular during the spread of COVID-19?
Pulse oximeter demand has surged amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The virus infects the respiratory tract and deprives the alveoli of the ability to supply oxygen to the blood. By measuring the level of blood oxygen saturation, it is possible to determine how dangerous the situation is for the body, what measures should be taken.
For patients who are at home with a mild form of coronavirus infection, it is important to identify possible complications and progression of the disease at the earliest possible stage. And the pulse oximeter will help them with this.
For those who have been in contact with patients with coronavirus infection, who have suffered pneumonia and acute respiratory diseases, it is also important to monitor the state of the body in order to seek medical help in time and prevent complications.
Is this pulse oximeter also relevant for people who have had a heart attack or are living with a diagnosis of “heart failure”?
In such diseases, pulse oximetry is not the main diagnostic method, but the indicator of the oxygen level in the blood is important for assessing the patient’s condition.
In addition, this technique in some way can even outstrip subjective sensations. Someone may feel shortness of breath subjectively with normal oxygen saturation, while others, on the contrary, in the absence of complaints, the level of oxygen in the blood will be reduced.
What level of saturation(Blood oxygen) is considered normal?
The oxygen concentration in the blood is an individual indicator, so it may differ from person to person. There is no ideal value. That is why conclusions can only be drawn after taking a series of measurements, including during rest or exercise. If the indicators differ significantly, this is considered a sign of pathology.
Usually, Saturation above 95% is considered normal. Although for people over 70, 94% is acceptable. All these figures are rather arbitrary, they should be applied to each specific case. In addition, in any measurement technique, errors are permissible.
Therefore, it is important that the device is of high quality, standardized. There are many manufacturers, but not all of them bother with standardization techniques.
The level of oxygen in the blood, which the device shows, is really important, but not the only indicator that is taken into account when determining the severity of the disease.
If your home pulse oximeter shows low blood oxygen saturation values, then you should not start self-medication. Indicators may decrease, even if a person is in a poorly oxygenated room.
With the help of a portable pulse oximeter, measurements are easy to carry out on your own, at a convenient time and without leaving your home. The main thing is to choose the appropriate model of the device:
The Beurer is the simplest and most affordable option, displaying oxygen saturation and heart rate graphically:
- numerical values of saturation and pulse;
- graphic – pulse bar (visualization of pulse beats and cardiac output force) and plethysmogram (fluctuations in the volume of filling of peripheral vessels
The pulse oximeter works on batteries, it is also convenient to take it with you on the road;
2.Beurer PO 40.
With this model, the user also receives information about oxygen saturation and heart rate in real time on a color display (in numerical and graphical form).
A distinctive feature of this model is the determination (%) of the perfusion index (pulse modulation index). If explained “on the fingers”, then this is the characteristic of the blood flow in the finger on which the measurement is carried out.
The perfusion index (PI, PI) depends on the intensity of blood flow at the measurement site, on the filling of blood vessels with blood, on the number of working capillaries. This parameter tells the user how ready the environment and the user’s body are for the correct measurement of oxygen saturation.
it is the companion of the generation of gadgets and smart devices. Along with the previous two models, the user receives information about saturation and heart rate in real time on a color auto-oriented display (in numerical and graphical form). The unique feature of the PO 60 is its built-in memory and wireless data transfer function. The last 100 measurements stored in the device are transferred via Bluetooth to the Beurer HealthManager app.
This is an expert class pulse oximeter made in the form of a monoblock (more convenient than with a plug-in sensor). The PO 80 measures oxygen saturation and heart rate and displays the results on a color display. The PO 80 distinguishes itself from previous models in the Beurer range in the following ways:
- built-in memory for 24 hours recording of measurement results;
- rechargeable battery (built-in lithium battery 500mAh / 3.7V, charging cable included);
- the ability to customize alarms for individually set limit values for saturation and heart rate;
- the ability to turn on / off the sound accompaniment of heart rate measurement.
How to Use all of these Pulse Oximeters?
Another obvious plus of these pulse oximeters is its ease of use.
To get reliable data, it is enough to follow a few simple rules:
- After turning on the device, you need to wait a few seconds for the self-test to complete.
- Fix the sensor securely to your finger without excessive pressure.
- Do not use the device with nail polish applied.
Charge the battery or change batteries in a timely manner.
Shaking, movement and bright light interfere with blood oxygen measurement. Therefore, the hand must be positioned so that it remains motionless during the procedure, and the device itself must be protected from direct sunlight and not placed next to the lamp.
If the indicators differ from the norm or negative dynamics are noticeable, it is imperative to consult a doctor.
At an early stage of infection, the coronavirus may not manifest itself in any way, not give any symptoms. However, it already affects the airways and lungs, capturing their cells.
The fact is that the virus is afraid of high temperatures, so it chooses the respiratory organs, where the temperature is only 33.
To prevent infection, preventive measures must be followed. This applies to both hygienic measures (washing hands, treating with an antiseptic, rinsing the nose), and general constant monitoring of one’s well-being. A pulse oximeter will help you identify abnormalities in time and take the necessary measures to prevent serious consequences.