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What is an oximeter?

Oximeter or more precisely called pulse oximeter is a device that painlessly measures the oxygen saturation i.e. the amount of oxygen in your blood. It detects how rapidly and efficiently the oxygen is carried to all your organs including your legs and arms from the heart. The gadget is like a tiny clip that is attached to certain body parts like fingers and toes to read oxygen levels. It gives off light through the transparent portion of the skin that is caught by the detector on the opposite side. The oximeter readings are developed by measuring the changes of absorption of oxygenated and deoxygenated blood. So, it can tell the pulse rate along with oxygen saturation level.

What is the use of oximeters?

The primary use of pulse oximeters is to know how well the heart is pumping oxygenated blood out of the ventricles. It is widely used to monitor the health of individuals in hospitals and clinics. It picks up the slightest change in lungs functioning. Evaluating the effectiveness of a ventilator is done using an oximeter. It can detect sleep apnea and also access a person’s ability to withstand increased physical activity. Pulse oximeter is also implemented during stress tests and for newborns in neonatal care units. It is a great way to understand when one needs oxygen supplements. However, if attached to a body part for prolonged interval, it can create numbness by cutting off oxygen flow in surrounding blood vessels.

Different types of oximeters

There are different types of pulse oximeters depending on the area on which they are tested. The fingertip pulse oximeter is a special variant that can measure pulse rate and SpO2 in the comforts of one’s home. It doesn’t need a professional to operate or decipher the oximeter readings. A healthy person will have Spo2 levels between 95 to 100 when read on fingertip pulse oximeters. Oximeters are also attached to smartwatches that read the pulse rate from the wrist. Such oximeter watches are water resistant or installed with alarms.

Top brands selling oximeter

Many brands have put forth their oximeters in the markets. However, to steer clear of faulty readings from inefficient oximeters here are some top oximeter brands to look out for. BPL oximeter, Control D, Dr Odin, ExtraCare oximeter, Ez-Life oximeter, Prozo Plus oximeter, and TrueView oximeter are other popular ones.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the two readings on a pulse oximeter?

The two readings on pulse oximeters are SpO2 and pulse rate. The former indicated the percentage of oxygen saturation in blood while later indicates the number of times our heart beats per minute.

Which finger is best for pulse oximeters?

As per studies if the test is conducted on the middle finger of the right hand while sitting, the reading on the oximeter is most accurate.

How to measure oxygen saturation without a pulse oximeter?

Pathological tests like blood gas test, long term oxygen therapy assessment and hypoxic challenge test can measure oxygen saturation in the blood.

What is the normal pulse rate in an oximeter?

A healthy lungs read 60 to 100 beats per minute on an oximeter. Increase in physical activity or hypertension can spike the heart rate.
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