A Pulse Oximeter is a machine that measures the oxygen saturation levels or the amount of oxygen in your blood. It is usually attached to a body part like a finger, toe, or earlobe. The oximeter helps to determine how well your heart pumps oxygen. While most children and adults do not need to monitor their oxygen levels, people with chronic conditions do. It is commonly used in patients with these conditions
-Congenital heart defects
-Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
-To tell if someone needs help breathing
-It helps in accessing if one suffers from sleep apnea
-Evaluates someone’s ability to tolerate physical activity
-To assess the effectiveness of a lung medication
-Monitors oxygen levels during or after a surgical procedure
-To assess if a ventilator is helpful
If you have healthy lungs, your oxygen readings (SPO2) should be between 95-100%. However, when one has COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) or other conditions, these ranges vary. The readings when under anesthesia should be between 95-99%. There should be a cause for worry when the readings fall below 95%. If it falls below 90%, the patient is becoming hypoxic and there is need for emergency treatment.
Sometimes there can be errors in the readings of a pulse oximeter. What could be the cause?
-One of the causes is patient movement
-Bright light on the probe
-Nail polish or pigment on the finger
-Carbon monoxide poisoning
If the probe gets dirty, clean it with an alcohol swab or damp cloth. It would be best if you kept the battery fully charged. Please put it in a safe place to prevent it from dropping
When connecting a probe or lead, plug it correctly to avoid damage. Check the shape before inserting
When connecting and disconnecting, hold the plug firmly, not the cable. If you hold the cable, you may break the small wires. Also, when not in use, coil the lead and store it in a safe place.
During this time of Covid 19, owning one is necessary. Why? Studies have shown people with Diabetes who end up with worse outcomes I.e requiring ICU or ventilator support or even death could have avoided that if they went to the hospital early when they detect their oxygen levels are declining. Most go to seek medical attention when it’s late I.e they have been walking with reduced oxygen levels without knowing. Remember, COVID-19 manifests itself differently in each person and some lack classical symptoms like high fever or coughing.
You can purchase the pulse Oximeter from our pharmacy for Kes. 4000/-