Pulse oximeters have now become a common piece of diagnostic equipment within professional medical circles. But what exactly are they and why are they used you ask? We can explain.
What are they?
Oximeters are a simple and non invasive gadget which is used to monitor oxygenation within the body. It records and analyses the percentage of haemoglobin that is oxygen saturated in the blood.
Typically, oxygen saturation levels for an average person should always be above 95%, although this can differ for people with heart disease issues or respiratory diseases. In these cases, the levels will be lower depending on the severity of the health issue a person has.
Why do we use them?
Pulse oximeters can be used for a number of reasons such as diagnosing and managing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Which can be an illness in patients who have previously been diagnosed with chronic bronchitis or emphysema.
COPD affects the respiratory system and is best described as an airflow obstruction that is not fully reversible.
Oximeters can also be used to measure and grade the severity of an asthma attack.
When oxygen saturation levels fall to less than 92%, oximeters can help diagnose an asthma attack which can be potentially life threatening.
They can also help diagnose the severity and oxygen requirements following a commonly acquired pneumonia or bronchiolitis.
The Care Quality Commission says: 'The 2009 British Thoracic Society (BTS) guideline on the management of asthma recommend SpO2 monitoring by pulse oximetry as an objective measure of acute asthma severity, particularly in children. In addition the Primary Care Respiratory Society states that it should be used to assess all acutely breathless patients in primary care.'
For more information regarding Pulse Oximeters give us a call on our freephone number 0800 470 4847. We’ll be happy to help you with any queries.