Pulse Oximeters are the most wanted items in recent times. Marking their presence in every household, the oximeters have been enjoying widespread popularity, thanks to the pandemic. Before it rose to fame, oximeters were used in clinical settings and among patients with breathing conditions. So, what is it about the oximeters that make it so coveted all of a sudden? Well, oximeters off-late have been nothing short of life-savers.
What does an Oximeter do?
Oximeters are devices that are clipped to your fingers, toes, or earlobes to measure the blood oxygen levels in your body. When you breathe in oxygen, it passes through your lungs and enters your bloodstream. The red blood cells will pick up this oxygen and carry it throughout your body to various organs. Pulse Oximeters measure how efficiently your RBCs are carrying oxygen.
What has it got to do with the Coronavirus?
Coronavirus affects your respiratory system and has the potential to cause oxygen impairment. This can turn fatal and even cause organ damage if not given immediate medical attention. With the shortage of health resources, people with mild symptoms of coronavirus are advised to manage their symptoms at home. Owning a pulse oximeter will help you be vigilant of your blood oxygen levels from time to time and catch any drop and seek medical help before it is too late.
Buying the right pulse oximeter
Buying the right oximeter can be overwhelming with the number of options available in the market. Oximeters have undergone massive evolution and come equipped with the most contemporary features, making oxygen monitoring a breeze.
Here are some aspects you must watch out for in an oximeter before sealing the deal.
Ease Of Use
You need no clinical training or knowledge of complex science to use an oximeter. They have a simple one-touch operation that lets you manage your health at your fingertips, literally! Follow the guidelines of use to ensure accuracy of readings.
The latest oximeters have some of the best features that will give comfort and luxury an all-new definition.
- The flashy LED screens display your readings clearly and concisely under a wide range of light conditions.
- The visual and audible alarms alert you of any unusual readings so that you can take immediate action.
- The auto rotation feature ensures that you don’t have to strain your neck awkwardly or twist your hands and potentially disturb the readings.
- The memory function lets you keep track of previous readings. You don’t have to keep a register to constantly record and compare your past and present readings.
- Some of the high-end models are water-resistant and also come with accessories like protective cases and lanyards to ensure maximum safety and comfort.
- The high-quality ABS material used in the oximeter makes it anti-allergic and suitable for long-term and repeated usage.
Oximeters are lightweight and have a sleek and ergonomic design. They run on batteries and also have an auto power-off ensuring longevity. It makes sure that your health needs don’t pose as roadblocks in your life.
Inaccuracies in measuring your SpO2 levels can pose potential health complications. Accuracy and Reliability of your readings are paramount. Use clinically approved and certified products. Look for certifications like CE and FDA.
The average price of an oximeter in India ranges from ₹500 to ₹5000. Always make sure that the price tallies with the features, the brand reputation, and the warranty period. Buying low-priced oximeters may affect the accuracy of your readings and the longevity of your device.
The oximeters are fragile and could turn out defective. Go for products that offer a good warranty, especially if you are going for an expensive product. Most of the reputed brands offer a warranty between 6 months to 1 year.
Always look for the most reputed brands as this reflects in the quality, reliability, customer service, and warranty. The popular and most trusted brands in oximeters are Hesley, BPL, Vandelay, Doctor Trust, DR VAKU. These brands come with state-of-the-art features and clinical approvals like EU and FDA certification. They are best-sellers and have great customer reviews.
How To Use a Pulse Oximeter?
The following are the government guidelines for using an oximeter
- Remove your nail polish or false nails and warm your hands if cold
- Rest for at least 5 minutes before taking the measurements
- Rest your hand on your chest at heart level and hold it still
- Switch on your oximeter and slide it on your middle finger or index finger
- The readings take time to be steady. Keep the oximeter in place for a minute or longer if the readings are not stable.
- Record the highest result once it has not changed for 5 seconds.
- Start recording from the baseline and record 3 times a day at the same time. Take extra measures if you feel the change in your health.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is a normal reading?
A normal oximeter reading is 95% or higher. If your SpO2 levels drop below 95% you need to immediately consult your healthcare provider.
Who should own a pulse oximeter?
People with coronavirus and those suffering from cardiovascular and respiratory diseases should use an oximeter to understand if they need extra oxygen.
Are oximeters Painful?
Pulse oximeters are completely painless. Unlike blood tests that use prickly needles, oximeters use a light beam that passes through your blood to measure blood oxygen levels.
Are there any risks in using an oximeter?
There are no risks associated with using an oximeter. The only risk can be of misreading. Complying with the guidelines of use and using a reliable device will substantially reduce the risk.
Does an oximeter screen for Corona?
Not everyone with Corona will have low oxygen levels and having low oxygen levels doesn’t always mean that you have the virus. You need to undergo a coronavirus screening test to confirm the presence of Covid-19.