A pulse oximeter is a small clip-like device that can be fixed to body parts, such as toes or earlobes. It is usually used on the fingers, and is usually used in intensive care units such as emergency rooms or hospitals. Some doctors, such as pulmonologists, may use it in the office.
The purpose of pulse oximetry is to check how well your heart is transporting oxygen through your body.
It can be used to monitor the health of individuals suffering from any condition that may affect blood oxygen levels, especially during their hospital stay.
These conditions include:
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
3. Lung cancer
5. Heart attack or heart failure
6. Congenital heart defects
There are many different common use cases for pulse oximetry
1. Evaluate the efficacy of new lung drugs
2. Assess whether someone needs to breathe
3. Assess how helpful the ventilator
4. Monitor oxygen levels during or after surgical procedures that require sedation
5. Determine the effectiveness of supplemental oxygen therapy, especially when it comes to new therapies
6. Assess someone’s ability to tolerate increased exercise
7. Assess during a sleep study whether someone temporarily stops breathing while sleeping (for example in the case of sleep apnea)
How does this work？
During the pulse oximetry reading, place a small clamp-like device on your finger, earlobe, or toe. A small beam of light passes through the blood in the finger and measures the amount of oxygen. It does this by measuring changes in light absorption in oxygenated or deoxygenated blood. This is an easy process.
Therefore, a pulse oximeter can tell you your blood oxygen saturation level and your heart rhythm.
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