Do you own an oximeter? … If so,
Do you know how and when to use it? … It could save your life.
Many of those who become ill experience a sudden drop in blood oxygen levels a day or two before their lungs fail.
Unlike in many other chest diseases (asthma, for example), the pandemic virus can cause a severe drop in blood oxygen level without any associated breathlessness.
Because of this, people with this “silent hypoxia” are unlikely to seek the urgent help they need, unless they regularly measure their blood oxygen level or their condition deteriorates.
If they realise something is wrong, they may reach hospital just in time to receive oxygen therapy (and, if necessary, ventilation). Others are admitted too late to save.
Blood oxygen level is one of the strongest predictions before becoming ill from the pandemic virus, and early oxygen improves survival.
So it’s time to learn how to measure yours and what to do if you’re low.
Oxygen is carried in the blood attached to the haemoglobin. Haemoglobin exists in two forms, oxygenated and deoxygenated, which reflect light slightly differently.
An oximeter works by bouncing a beam of light against blood vessels close to the skin, typically in a fingertip, and using the reflected light to estimate the proportion of oxygenated to total haemoglobin.
To measure your blood oxygen level, turn on the oximeter and clip it on a warm fingertip (one without nail varnish). Wait five minutes until the reading has stabilised. Record the result and the time (either on paper or using an app).
You can buy an oximeter online for $ 20 – $ 30
Pulse Oximeter How to use?
The pulse oximeter is used both for the ongoing monitoring of hospitalized patients and to take a single reading at the time of consultation. The steps involved during the procedure of using a pulse oximeter are as follows:
- At first, the pulse oximeter is clipped on the person’s finger, toe, or earlobe.
- As it is a non-invasive test, no pricking is involved. But the person may feel slight pain or pinch due to clipping the medical device
- Turn on the pulse oximeter and within a few seconds, the device will collect accurate information and show readings of blood oxygen saturation levels and pulse rate.
- Once the reading is noted, the oximeter can be removed and it will shut down automatically.
- In some cases, the oximeter is left on for a certain period of time in which ongoing monitoring of oxygen saturation levels is required.
Pulse Oximeters: Answering Your Frequently Asked Questions
As per the studies, your right hand’s middle finger shows the best results. Make sure to take off any nail polish and avoid using cold fingers as the readings may not show correctly.
What are normal levels, and when should I worry? Normal SpO2 is usually at least 95%. Some patients with chronic lung disease or sleep apnea can have normal levels of around 90%. …
Blood gas measurements provide critical information regarding oxygenation, ventilation, and acid-base status.
- What is the best pulse oximeter?
- What is a normal oxygen saturation level?
- Are any oximeters made in the USA?
- Pulse oximeters FDA approved and more…