Friday, December 29, 2023

Why Pulse Oximeter is Important and Why Pulse Oximeter is Used?


Pulse Oximeter, oxygen saturation, SpO2, Why Pulse Oximeter is important
Image Source - Pixabay   

Oxygen is an essential component to maintain physiological functions in our body. In the human body, oxygen is carried by haemoglobin which is present in the blood. But in some cases normal oxygen level in the blood gets decreased which leads to hypoxemia (low oxygen level in the blood).

The amount of oxygen carried by the haemoglobin in the blood is known as oxygen saturation which also termed as SpO2. SpO2 indicates the percentage of oxygen present in the haemoglobin. So, it is very important to measure the oxygen level in some critical health issues or to maintain a healthy lifestyle. A pulse oximeter is a device used to measure the oxygen saturation level in the blood.

1. What is a pulse oximeter?

A pulse oximeter is an electronic device which used to measure oxygen saturation in the blood.

   • Pulse oximeter device clip onto a finger and passes light through blood of the finger and measures the oxygen level. Measuring oxygen saturation (SpO2) by a pulse oximeter device is a non-invasive procedure.

   • The normal oxygen saturation (SpO2)  range of a healthy adult man is between 95% to 100%

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2. Why Pulse Oximeter is Used?

The main purpose of the pulse oximeter device is to measure the oxygen level in the blood. For a healthy individual, definitely, the oxygen level will be normal, but in some cases and disease conditions oxygen level decrease which leads to disturbed physiological functions.

There are some conditions which mostly affect the blood oxygen levels. Actually, these conditions restrict the oxygen from getting saturated in the blood that means haemoglobin of the blood cannot hold the oxygen and cannot bind with it. These types of conditions are mentioned below -

   • Anemia

   • Asthma

   • Pneumonia

   • Lung cancer

   • COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)

   • Congenital heart defects

   • Heart failure or heart attack

In such conditions immediate assessment, diagnosis and action are required. 

Pulse oximeter device can be used for various conditions but it has some common uses which mentioned below -

   • Pulse oximeter device is used to measure how the blood oxygen level is decreasing or increasing during some conditions or treatments.

   • It is used to determine that supplemental oxygen therapy is necessary or not for the client.

   • It determines how the supplemental oxygen therapy effective to increase the blood oxygen level.

   • Pulse oximeter is very important during and after the surgical procedures. It is used to monitor the oxygen level during procedures and recovery period.

   • It also assesses how ventilator is helpful for the client.

   • It helps to assess the ability of a client's physical activity.

   • It assesses how a medication works for the respiratory system.

3. How does a pulse oximeter work?

A pulse oximeter is a clamp-like electronic device which is placed onto a finger, earlobe or toe.

NOTE - It has one processor and two LEDs. One is a red LED and another is an infra-red LED.

   • During the reading of a pulse oximeter, small rays of light from LEDs pass through the blood of finger, earlobe or toe.

   • When the light passes through the blood, the processor of the device measures the changes of the light which absorbed by the oxygenated blood or deoxygenated blood.

   • By measuring the changes of light, pulse oximeter determines the oxygen saturation (SpO2) level of your blood.

4. What is a pulse oximeter used for:

Pulse Oximeter, oxygen saturation, SpO2, Why Pulse Oximeter is important
Image Source - Pixabay   

We cannot live without oxygen and maintaining normal oxygen level is necessary for each and every healthy individual.

But in some cases and disease conditions disturb the normal oxygen saturation level in your body. If oxygen saturation decrease, this condition alter your normal physiology functions which lead to critical situations even death.

In that situation, measuring the current oxygen level is very important to continue the treatment. A pulse oximeter is a device used to measure the oxygen saturation level in such a critical situation.

Not only it is used for the disease conditions but also important during and after the surgical procedures. Pulse oximeter determines the oxygen level in the blood and according to the device reports health care professional can give ventilator support.

We cannot ignore the altered oxygen saturation level of a client because it can lead to severe conditions and even death. So, the importance of a pulse oximeter device can be considered as a lifesaver.

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5. What Can Prevent a Pulse Oximeter Reading Accurately?

   • Nail varnish or pigment on the finger

   • Bright light on the probe

   • Patient movement

   • Poor perfusion

   • Carbon monoxide poisoning

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