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.

How To Choose A Pulse Oximeter?

A pulse oximeter is a medical device designed to measure the oxygen level in human blood. Portable pulse oximeters that are clipped onto the end of the finger, over the nails to perform its function, it is also known as a finger pulse oximeter. While shopping for your ideal pulse oximeter, there are a few things below you need to look out for.

How To Choose Your Pulse Oximeter?

1. Select one that suit your needs. Larger models which come with better and more complex features are mostly used in public hospitals, while hand-held or portable fingertip pulse oximeters will be better choices for home or sport/fitness usage.

2. Choose one that have been tried and tested by others before. Read their reviews and testimonials for the pros and cons. Do your home work well before investing your money.

3. The price of a pulse oximeter can range from a few hundred dollars to a couple of thousands. You need to figure out your budget and pick one that is within your budget. Do note that it doesn’t always mean an expensive one is a high quality one, though in most cases it is. You need a device which gives you accurate results, reliable oxygen saturation readings and pulse rates.

4. Choose one that is user-friendly or easy to use. You wouldn’t want to get one that takes hours to figure out how to operate, especially you will be operating the device yourself. Make sure the salesman demonstrate and explain to you the way to use it, so that you can start using it right away when you get it home.

5. Get one that offers a full refund if you are not satisfied with the results for at least a reasonable period of time. During this time, you may like to test the pulse oximeter against someone who can manually take your pulse and oxygen saturation measurements to compare the readings and make sure that the one you choose is the most accurate.


– If you are getting a pulse oximeter for medical use, make sure that you go for one that is FDA approved.

– If you are buying one online, always research for merchant sites that have best reputation for affordable prices, quick shipping, best warranties and customer service.

Always spend some time to research for a good pulse oximeter, then to waste money to buy one blindly. Hope my tips above will help you in making the right decision.

What Is A Pulse Oximeter?

A pulse oximeter is a medical device which fundamentally measures the arterial oxygen saturation of haemoglobin (Hb) of a patient, with a probe attached to his/her body where the blood flow is excellent for more concise results. The ideal spots are finger, toe or ear lobe which is then linked to a computerized unit. This method of measuring oxygen in blood is known as Pulse Oximetry.

How Does A Pulse Oximeter Work?

A pulse oximeter uses red and infrared light to detect oxygen in the patient’s blood stream. Infrared light would be absorbed more by hemoglobin which carries the oxygen, but red light will be allowed to pass through. On the other hand, red light would be absorbed more by hemoglobin without much oxygen but infrared light will be allowed to pass through. Once the information are gathered and transmitted to the machine or device, the ratios of red to infrared light are calculated and compared to a model table to determine the results. A good reading usually ranges between 90 to 100 saturation.

Conventional And Newer Generation Of Pulse Oximeters

Conventional pulse oximeters have some disadvantages. Whenever there are movements or poor blood circulation, the accuracy of the readings will be affected. As a result, it makes it very difficult to make medical decisions. To overcome this, an additional arterial blood gas test is usually required to validate pulse oximeter readings. “Newer Generation” of pulse oximeters on the market have significantly improved the ability to read through motion and low perfusion issues.

My next article will explain more in details on how to choose a pulse oximeter.

What Is Pulse Oximetry?

A Pulse Oximetry in simple explanation, is a simple, non-invasive method of monitoring the percentage of a patient’s hemoglobin (Hb) which is saturated with oxygen (oxygenation).

In many circumstance, the Pulse Oximetry data is necessary whenever a patient’s blood oxygenation is unstable and needs to be monitored closely, including intensive care, critical care and emergency areas of a hospital. However, if you need to perform simple Pulse Oximetry at home, you may do so with a Pulse Oximeter.

Note(s) :

Pulse Oximetry cannot determine the metabolism of oxygen or the amount of oxygen used by the patient. Hence for this purpose, it is necessary to measure the carbon dioxide (CO2) levels too.