What Are Pulse Oximeters Used For?

Pulse Oximeters are a none invasive medical device that is used to measure the oxygen saturation of a patient's blood, changes in the blood volume of the skin as well as the patient's pulse rate. It is attached to the patient's fingertip or ear lobe which is linked to a computerised unit that will conduct the reading. These devises can be attached to a medical monitor so that staff can record a patient's oxygenation at all times. Due to their simplicity and speed, pulse oximeters are of critical importance in emergency medicine and have their value when it comes to patients with respiratory or cardiac problems. A pulse oximeter is useful in any situation where a patient's oxygenation is unstable, including intensive care, operating, recovery, emergency and hospital ward settings, pilots in unpressurised aircraft, for assessment of any patient's oxygenation, and determining the effectiveness of or need for supplemental oxygen.

Pulse Oximeters can be used for number different situations but is at its most valuable when it comes to monitoring oxygenation and pulse rates throughout anaesthesia as well as being commonly used during the recovery phase. Those patients suffering from long standing respiratory disease or those with cyanotic congenital heart disease will have a lower level of oxygen saturation which should always be above 95%. Pulse Oximeters are used during intensive care and can detect problems with oxygenation before they are noticed clinically. They can be used to assess whether or not a patients oxygen therapy is sufficient and as a guide when reducing ventilation. Oximeters are used on the wards and in casualty departments when patients are awaiting procedures as a means of alerting staff to unexpected hypoxia.

Portable, battery-operated oximeters are readily available for home blood-oxygen monitoring and are increasingly less costly to purchase than ever before. If you intend to purchase a pulse oximeter than there are a number of important considerations to keep in mind. If it is being purchased for primary care purposes then it is essential that it is reliable, robust, portable, easy to use, safe and cost effective. As with any medical equipment it is vitally important that those who will be using the pulse oximeter are fully aware of how to use the equipment correctly. It's also essential to understand when it should be use and how to generate accurate readings and interpret the results as well as having an awareness of any limitations.

DeVilbiss Healthcare is an industry leading expert with a wealth of experience in producing quality pulse oximeters

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