If you need or are currently using a pulse oximeter, you may only know it as a device that measures your blood oxygen saturation levels. But do you know what makes pulse oximeters such a popular device, who it is designed for and its multiple benefits? In this article, we give you the complete lowdown on pulse oximeters.
The Popularity of Pulse Oximeters
One of the reasons pulse oximeters are so popular is that they are noninvasive. You do not require surgery or any procedure to install it; simply attach it to the intended body part. It’s that simple! Furthermore, pulse oximeters are small and portable, making them extremely convenient for carrying around as well as for use at home. You no longer have to head down to the hospital or clinic just to measure your oxygen levels. Furthermore, pulse oximeters can measure the way oxygen is transported to different parts of the body, making them particularly useful if you have a condition that means you need to monitor these levels to evaluate treatment.
Who can Benefit from Pulse Oximeters?
Contrary to popular belief, pulse oximeters are not just for patients who suffer from particular conditions, although it can be incredibly useful. Anyone who simply wishes to keep track of their blood oxygen saturation levels can make use of one.
- Patients who suffer from conditions that affect blood flow: As blood flows through the body, so is oxygen transported. If blood flow is reduced, this can result in a lower level of oxygen. Hence, patients with conditions such as lung cancer, chronic obstructive disease, sleep apnea and anemia can benefit from using a pulse oximeter.
- Patients who have just received an organ transplant: After an organ transplant, blood oxygen saturation levels will need to be monitored to ensure the new organ is functioning properly. It is also used to assess whether a patient needs additional help with breathing, albeit with the use of a ventilator.
- For Patients Recovering At Home: Doctors may recommend that you monitor your blood oxygen levels at home as an outpatient. Although this allows you to recover in the comfort of your own home, it is important that you know how to use the pulse oximeter properly.
- Athletes: For avid athletes and sports enthusiasts, pulse oximeters can be useful for keeping track of your oxygen levels both before and after exercising.
- Anyone who wishes to keep track of their blood oxygen saturation levels!
Benefits of Pulse Oximeters
So, what are the benefits of being able to track your blood oxygen saturation level at your fingertips (quite literally) ?
- Immediately know when your blood oxygen level has dropped below acceptable so you can receive medical attention as soon as possible.
- Monitor the status of new medical treatments to determine if they are working. For instance, if you have started taking a drug with potentially dangerous side effects on blood flow or oxygen saturation.