Pulse Oximeter

What Is a Pulse Oximeter?

A pulse oximeter is a small, lightweight medical device used to monitor the amount of oxygen carried in the body. The measurement is done on an average of about 5 seconds.

Pulse oximeter is used to measure following aspects of the patient’s body

1) Heart rate 
2) Hemoglobin oxygen saturation

Although heart rate is a vital sign, the oxygen level is the more important measurement of the two, as it helps detect many a medical problems. The pulse oximeter studies oxygen content in the blood by studying levels of haemoglobin in the blood. Haemoglobin is a protein found in the blood.

Types of  Pulse Oximeters
  1. Fingertip pulse oximeter
  2. Handheld pulse oximeter
  3. Fetal pulse oximeter
  4. Wristband pulse oximeter
  5. Tabletop pulse oximeter
Readings of a Pulse Oximeters
  1. Blood Oxygen Saturation (SpO2)
  2. Pulse Rate
Blood Oxygen Saturation

Oxygen may either be bound or unbound. When oxygen is bound, it is referred to as oxy-haemoglobin. When it is unbound, it is referred to as deoxy-haemoglobin. An oximeter studies the amount of oxy-haemoglobin in the blood. The study of saturation is done in percentage, with 100 being the highest possible percentage. A normal reading of Blood Oxygen Saturation is between 95 to 100, and a patient with a reading less than that indicates lack of oxygen or improper gas balance in the lungs.

Pulse Rate

Pulse rate is an estimation of the number of times heart contracts per minute. Normal pulse rate values for adults range from 60 to 100 beats per minute (bpm).

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