Who Should Use A Pulse Oximeter?

A pulse oximeter can be useful in any form of setting where a person’s oxygenation is unstable and requires monitoring. It can also be used as a life saving medical device during emergency. The following describes areas where it is usually found and people who use it.

Hospital Patients

In hospitals, this device are usually used to monitor patients’ oxygenation and their pulse rates during surgical procedures especially with anaesthesia or conscious sedation. Areas where they can be found are accident & emergency wards or operating theaters.

Pulse oximeters are also used by patients under the recovery phase after surgery in areas like ITU (Intensive Therapy/Treatment Unit) or ICU (Intensive Care Unit) and wards.

Due to its simplicity and speed of usage, it could be a life saving device for patients with severe breathing, lungs or heart related problems. For people with certain sleeping disorders like hypopnea or apnea, this device will be excellent for them to perform diagnosis.

Pilots In Non-Pressurized Aircrafts

Hand-held portable pulse oximeters are used by pilots in non-pressurized air-crafts to assess their oxygenation and determine if there is a need to have supplemental oxygen or how effective is the supplemental oxygen in the setting.

Mountain Climbers On Mountains With High Altitudes

Mountain climbers on high-altitude mountains are also using a portable device like this to monitor their blood oxygen levels since there is a decrease in oxygen under that kind of environment.

Athletes Who Train And Exercise Regularly

Athletes who engage themselves in training or exercises can use one to monitor their blood oxygen since their oxygen levels may drop during exercising.

Patients Who Suffer From Asthma Or Lung Diseases

Most commonly than not, people who suffer from serious breathing problems like asthma, or lung diseases like COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) use a pulse oximeter to constantly monitor their oxygen levels from time to time as insufficient oxygen in blood can sometimes be fatal.

Understanding Arterial Blood Gas Test

An Arterial Blood Gas Test is a more comprehensive blood test (also known as an ABG test) that measures the acidity and level of oxygen and carbon dioxide specifically in the blood from an artery. During this test, the following will be checked and measured.

  • The pressure of oxygen dissolved in the human blood and how smooth the oxygen can move from the airspace of the lungs into the blood.
  • The pressure of carbon dioxide dissolved in the blood and how well carbon dioxide can move out of the human body.
  • The acidity (pH) or amount of hydrogen ions (H+) in the blood.
  • The amount of bicarbonate in the blood.
  • The amount of oxygen in the blood.
  • The amount of hemoglobin in the red blood cells carrying oxygen.

What Is An Arterial Blood Gas Test For?

Such test is usually done to check for patients with severe breathing problems and lung diseases i.e. asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), check if patients are getting the right amount of oxygen or if extra oxygen is needed in the hospital, check if treatment for lung diseases is effective, as well as measure the acid-base level in the blood of patients with heart or kidney failure, uncontrolled diabetes, severe infections or sleeping disorders.

Before going for an arterial blood gas test, make sure that you talk to your health care provider about any concern you have i.e. the risks involved, how will it be done, and what does the result mean.