Pulse oximetry is a simple, inexpensive, and non-invasive diagnostic technique that measures blood oxygen levels (or oxygen saturation). Oxygen saturation should always be above 95% but maybe lower for respiratory or congenital heart disease. It is possible to measure the percentage of oxygen saturation in the blood with a pulse oximeter, a device with a sensor similar to a clip attached to a delicate part of the body, such as a rag or a nose.
Part 1 – Prepare to use the pulse oximeter.
Your doctor may also recommend that you take this measurement if you use a breathing system to assist your breathing, if you have sleep apnea, or if you have or have had a serious illness, such as heart attack or congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD ), Anemia, lung cancer, asthma or pneumonia
6. Make sure the oximeter is charged. Connect it to a grounded outlet if your device is not portable. If this is the case, make sure it has enough charge to turn it on before starting it.
Part 2 – Use a pulse oximeter
7. Read the measurement. The oxygen saturation and the heart rate are displayed in a few seconds on the illuminated display. A score of 95% – 100% is generally considered normal. However, if the oxygen level drops below 85%, you should consult a doctor.
- Make sure that no interferences occur (environmental influences or directly at the measuring point).
- Warm-up and rub the skin.
- Use a topical vasodilator to open the blood vessels (for example, a nitroglycerin-based cream).
- Try to attach the probe to another part of the body.
- Try another probe and pulse oximeter.
- If you still are not sure if the device is working correctly, consult your doctor.
- Do not worry if your oxygen level is not 100%. There are very few people who have this oxygen content.
- Do not attach the pulse oximeter to an arm on which you have attached the automatic sphygmomanometer, as the flow of blood to the finger will be interrupted each time the cuff swells.
- If you are a smoker, it does not make sense to use the pulse oximeter because the device can not distinguish between normal oxygen saturation in hemoglobin and carboxyhemoglobin saturation that occurs when smoking is inhaled.