What Is An Oximeter And How To Use One
An oximeter is a small medical device that is used to measure oxygen saturation of blood, as well as pulse rate. This may sound scary, but the are no needles or pain involved (so stop going through scenes from The Saw in your head).
All you need to do is to clip the oximeter onto your index finger, and the device will emit a light to measure the hemoglobin in your blood. In case that does not clarify things too much, here’s why you may want to do that.
Hemoglobin is a protein in your red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body and takes carbon dioxide from your organs and tissues to your lungs.
If your hemoglobin level gets low (below standard), it indicates a low red blood cell count – a condition known as anemia.
These days, you can have an oximeter at home, as the devices are small, portable and easy-to-operate. This will keep you keep a close eye on your health, and alert you to even the smallest changes when they happen.
People with potential cardiovascular problems, respiratory diseases, as well as those suffering from sleep disorders may find having this simple and affordable gadget particularly useful, while for those working in the medical industry or taking care of those with health problems, an oximeter is simply essential.
Once you have an oximeter at home, it’s important to make sure you are using it properly to guarantee correct readings and the long life of the gadget.
Here’s a simple how-to-guide on how to use an oximeter at home.
Make sure that your hands are clean. It is highly recommended that you wash your hands before every use, dirt on your finger may block the light from the oximeter leading to inaccurate readings.
Remove nail polish (if you have any). True, the ladies out there may find it a hassle, however this is not a simple precaution, but a necessary step in ensuring clear readings.
Nail polish can absorb the light coming from the oximeter – and this will, once again, lead to mistakes in the final result.
Use the oximeter in an area that is not overexposed to light. With the way that the device operates (by emitting light), other bright lights may interfere with the readings.
Stand still and avoid sudden movements when using the oximeter.
Warm up your hands. As the oximeter analyzes your blood, make sure your hands are not too cold. Rub them together to stimulate the blood flow.
Using the oximeter
Clip the device onto your finger. Make sure it sits above the fingernail.
Don’t wave your hand or hold it up high, as this will affect the blood flow. The best option is to lay your hand on your chest and keep still.
You should have your hemoglobin results within 5 to 10 seconds. For the pulse reading (if your oximeter does that as well), you may have to wait a bit longer.
The results may be displayed differently, depending on your oximeter model. However, most models will show your oxygen level at the top and pulse at the bottom.
A normal oxygen level should stand at around 95% (or higher).
92-94% may indicate a potential problem.
Lower than 92% should be considered an emergency.
Make sure to contact your doctor to evaluate the results you get in detail, or if you find them a cause for concern.
There are lots of other personal health items that could make your life safer. Check them out here.