What You Need to Be Aware Of Prior to Purchasing an Oximeter
Since we have become used to doing self-tests, such as checking our temperature and searching for other virus-related symptoms, the pulse oximeter has made its way into many different medical cabinets. If we do not have it, we will not be able to receive an accurate picture of the condition of our lungs. In circumstances when it may be difficult to differentiate between symptoms that may be treated at home and those that need emergency medical treatment, a pulse oximeter may prove to be helpful.
According to Sharon Chekijian, MD, MPH, who works as an emergency medicine physician for Yale Medicine, “many doctors have been advising patients, especially those with worrisome symptoms or chronic health conditions like heart or lung problems, to buy a pulse oximeter for home to monitor their oxygen levels without trekking to the doctor or (emergency department).”
Even while a pulse oximeter is not strictly required for a healthy person on average, having one on hand might be beneficial in the event that you get infected with COVID-19 (some doctors recommend them if you have prior breathing problems like asthma, COPD, or other lung disorders). If you are considering buying one, the following information is crucial for you to understand.
How Does a Pulse Oximeter Actually Work?
A pulse oximeter, sometimes commonly referred to as a “pulse ox,” is a device that measures the quantity of oxygen (also known as oxygen saturation, or O2 sat), which is present in your blood, as stated by Johns Hopkins Medicine. It is especially designed to monitor the peripheral oxygen saturation since it is sensed externally on the finger, toe, or ear. According to the World Health Organization, this is very important because your blood (or, to be more specific, the proteins in your red blood cells known as haemoglobin) delivers oxygen to your tissues, which are dependent on it in order to function properly.
That wavelength is directed at the haemoglobin, and the amount of light absorbed by blood varies with changes in haemoglobin oxygen saturation. According to George Fallieras, MD, medical director of BioCorRx and a physician at LA Surge Hospital, “the device transmits wavelengths of light to a sensor which calculates your blood oxygen saturation.” The next step is that it provides a numerical readout, as recommended by the WHO.
Pulse oximeters count the number of times the heart beats in one minute, which reveals not just how effectively the body’s tissues are “perfused,” or supplied with blood, but also, ultimately, how much oxygen the blood contains.
With the use of a pulse oximeter, breathing difficulties may be diagnosed or monitored when COVID-19 or COVID-19 pneumonia is present. If you have COVID-19 and are having trouble breathing, the gadget may be of particular assistance to you. You may use it to track your progress or determine if it is time to attend the emergency department by using the information it provides.
What Should the Readings Indicate on a Pulse Oximeter?
The World Health Organization (WHO) states that a reading between 95% and 100% is regarded to be normal, and that anybody with a value that is lower than 94% should see a medical professional. On a pulse oximeter, a condition is considered to be a “clinical emergency” if it registers at less than 90%, and immediate attention is required. Heart rates in adults normally range anywhere from sixty to one hundred beats per minute.
“Be careful to create a journal of the data if you do believe you have COVID and you’re using the pulse oximeter to monitor your oxygen level so you can see if there are changes,” Dr. Chekijian recommended. Additionally, you shouldn’t just focus on the statistics. She recommended maintaining a record of your state of mind at the time of the reading, including details such as how you felt, such as if you were feeling fine or if you were having difficulty breathing.