The best pulse oximeter for home use

best pulse oximeter

Our organs require a constant oxygen supply to work correctly. When the lung’s capacity to transport oxygen into the blood is impaired, blood oxygen saturation declines, potentially putting the organs in danger. In addition, the pulse oximeter may quickly detect oxygen saturation drop, alerting the need for medical help. In this article, you will find a comprehensive guide to pulse oximeters – including what a normal read looks like and tips to choose the best pulse oximeter for your needs.

Pulse ox is a non-invasive and pain-free method that measures the oxygen saturation level of the blood. This small, clip-like device quickly detects even small changes in oxygen levels to show how efficiently blood carries oxygen and assess how well your lungs work.

How does pulse oximeter work?

This small electronic device is clipped onto a part of the body, usually a fingertip. It has a built-in sensor that sends infrared light into capillaries in the finger without getting absorbed by the tissue and blood. With the help of these measurements, the finger pulse oximeter calculates the oxygen saturation level.

Healthcare providers use pulse oximeters to monitor the health of patients with lung and heart disorders who are at risk of low blood oxygen levels. These include:

  • asthma
  • pneumonia and lung cancer
  • heart failure
  • anemia
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

What is the best pulse oximeter?

If you want the best pulse oximeter you can trust, OxiPRO is it:

  1. It was manufactured according to CE and FDA standards for pulse oximeters.
  2. It provides results with extreme accuracy. The University of California did a study and found that the OxiPro has an accuracy of 99%.
  3. The finger chamber has a smart spring system accommodating a wide range of finger sizes.

To learn more about pulse ox, follow the link.

What are the 2 readings on a pulse oximeter?

The pulse oximeter helps to measure the oxygen saturation and your pulse rate.

  • Pulse. The pulse rate is measured in beats per minute (bpm) and shows how fast the heart is beating.
  • Oxygen saturation level. This measure estimates the amount of oxygen in the blood. It is measured as a percentage (scored out of 100), known as SpO2 (blood oxygen saturation levels), and has a 2% error window (2 % higher or lower than the blood oxygen level).

What affects the accuracy of the pulse oximeter?

There are many factors that impair the accuracy of pulse oximeters and cause lower readings than normal.

  • Nail polish. Block the red and infrared light emitted by the device;
  • Dyes. Certain dyes that are used for medical procedures may hinder light transmission;
  • Excessive motion. Make sure you have been resting for at least 5 minutes before taking the reading;
  • Skin temperature. Cold hands can also reduce the accuracy of pulse ox;

According to Jaydeep Tripathy, MBA-MPH, Ph.D., to get the most accurate readings, clamping the pulse oximetry to the middle finger is advisable.

How to read a pulse oximeter?

The finger pulse oximeter measures the oxygen saturation level without using needles or taking a blood sample. The results shown on the screen reflect the oxygen saturation of red blood cells. The measurements also help determine if you need supplemental oxygen.

Normal blood oxygen level

The saturation level between 95% and 100% is considered normal for healthy individuals. Once the individual experience COPD or other lung diseases, the below oxygen saturation levels (between 88-92 percent) are acceptable. Contact your healthcare provider to discuss details on appropriate oxygen saturation levels for specific medical conditions.

Low blood oxygen level

Suppose oxygen saturation readings drop below 92%. In that case, the individual has to seek advice from the healthcare provider, as it may be a sign of hypoxia, a condition in which not enough oxygen reaches the body’s tissues. The lower the oxygen level, the more severe the hypoxemia. Once blood oxygen saturation levels fall to 88% or lower, call 111 for urgent medical care. When the blood oxygen levels go outside the typical range, the person may experience the following symptoms:

  • pain in the chest or rapid heartbeat
  • shortness of breath
  • headache
  • confusion
  • cyanosis: a sign of this condition is a blue discoloration of your nail beds and skin. Once you are experiencing these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention, as it can lead to respiratory failure, which can be life-threatening.

High blood oxygen level

In most cases, high oxygen levels result from supplemental oxygen use and can be detected only with the help of an ABG.

The best pulse oximeter helps people with certain health conditions, such as asthma, pneumonia, COPD, heart failure, or anemia, to monitor the oxygen level in the blood. Also, this device is essential when a person has COVID-19. When shopping for a pulse ox, aim to choose those you can attach to the fingertips, as they provide accurate readings and are often the easiest to use.

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