Oxygen is key to life. Without oxygen, you will see cells who depend on them start to decay and then die. This eventually leads to organ failure, and then death. Oxygen enters the body and is then filtered through the luges. From there, it is transported via red blood cells and distributed to the rest of the body. What pulse oximeters do is measure oxygen saturation.
The level of oxygen saturation detected is a sign of how much oxygen is actually reaching the organs. Usually, oxygen saturation levels are expected to be between 95% and 100%. If levels drop below 90%, it’s considered very low and can be classed as a medical emergency.
Why Use a Pulse Oximeter?
So, why use a pulse oximeter? There are a few really good reasons. The first is so that you can monitor oxygen saturation over a longer period of time. This allows for you to get a better idea of the health of an individual than if you just did one-off tests.
It also works extremely well with young children, especially babies. It alerts you immediately to low oxygen levels, and you can act before your child ends up in a dangerous situation.
Even if nothing serious is going on, it does wonders for keeping the peace of mind for people who suffer from respiratory problems, as you know you will always be alerted before something serious occurs.
Sometimes supplemental oxygen is needed if a person’s oxygen saturation levels are low, this can be life-saving in certain circumstances. The only way to know if you need supplemental oxygen on standby is if you use a pulse oximeter.
In addition to all this, it can be very useful to people under the influence of certain drugs. Doctors use it in the cases of administering anesthesia to a patient, as it helps monitor the patient’s levels while they are unconscious. People who take recreational drugs that can have negative respiratory effects can also benefit from regular pulse oximeter use.
Types of Pulse Oximeters
There are three main types of pulse oximeters.
Standard Pulse Oximeter
It is rather portable and suitable for at home use. In fact, most people generally use it at home regularly to keep updated on their levels. It comes in the same of a clip and needs to be put on either your finger or your earlobe.
There is an electronic screen on the clip itself that will show you the reading of the level detected. This oximeter works by using infrared light that is passed through the veins. This is how it can tell the difference between oxygenated blood cells and cells that aren’t oxygenated.
It’s important to note however that in cases of a blood clot, or if you have cold extremities where the clip is placed, you may get inaccurate readings.
This type of oximeter is mostly used by medical institutes and hospitals. The setup more sophisticated, with the clip being attached to an external screen using a cable. The reading is a lot more in-depth than simply just the level of saturation, and doctors use this information to make decisions for the patient and with regards to the diagnosis.
It does work similar to the first type of oximeter discussed, as it also makes use of infrared rays in order to get the reading. Similarly the clip portion can be attached to an earlobe, a finger or even a toe.
Pediatric Pulse Oximeter
As you can probably tell by the name, this oximeter is used for babies. More specifically, before they are born. Which is why it can also be referred to as a fetal pulse oximeter.
The reason this exists is because the other two pulse oximeters can sometimes make it difficult to use on a baby. So this special pediatric oximeter is needed.
It works by having a probe on the baby’s head and getting a reading from the skull using light rays. It gets to the unborn baby by traveling through the birth canal. It is very useful for alerting doctors to potential complications and helping them react much faster.
Top Five Non-Medical Pulse Oximeters
|[azrev_link_img asins="B00EUV1NIS" type="m"]||[azrev_link_text asin="B00EUV1NIS"]Nonin Medical GO2 Achieve Personal Fingertip Pulse Oximeter[/azrev_link_text]||Home, sports, recreational use, aviation||4.0/5||[azrev_link_button asin="B00EUV1NIS" text="$50–100"]|
|[azrev_link_img asins="B01NATPX6I" type="m"]||[azrev_link_text asin="B01NATPX6I"]Innovo Deluxe Fingertip Pulse Oximeter[/azrev_link_text]||Home, sports, recreational use||4.3/5||[azrev_link_button asin="B01NATPX6I" text="Below $50"]|
|[azrev_link_img asins="B000E4C53M" type="m"]||[azrev_link_text asin="B000E4C53M"]FaceLake FL400 Pulse Oximeter[/azrev_link_text]||Sports, and aviation only||4.3/5||[azrev_link_button asin="B000E4C53M" text="Below $50"]|
|[azrev_link_img asins="B00TZ293J8" type="m"]||[azrev_link_text asin="B00TZ293J8"]Finger Pulse Oximeter by Vive Precision[/azrev_link_text]||Home and sports||4.3/5||[azrev_link_button asin="B00TZ293J8" text="Below $50"]|
|[azrev_link_img asins="B00D7MDXCU" type="m"]||[azrev_link_text asin="B00D7MDXCU"]iHealth Air Wireless Fingertip Pulse Oximeter[/azrev_link_text]||Sports and / or aviation||3.6/5||[azrev_link_button asin="B00D7MDXCU" text="$200–300"]|
Nonin Medical GO2 Achieve Personal Fingertip Pulse Oximeter
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This pulse oximeter is for both adults and is pediatric, meaning it is suitable for children too. This adaptability of the product is a definite plus. It is really easy to use as you just clip it on your fingertip and wait for the reading. Its light, very portable, and relatively inexpensive.
- Suitable for all ages.
- Very light and easy to use
- Reading takes a little longer than with other pulse oximeters
Innovo Deluxe Fingertip Pulse Oximeter with Plethysmograph and Perfusion Index
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This oximeter is great for sports use, and if you are a fitness orientated person who wants to keep tabs on their body and how they are taking in oxygen, it’s great for you. It’s light and very easy to use. It may not work with smaller children, as your finger has to be above a certain size for the clip to be effective. But for adults, it should work great.
- Great for sports use
- Very easy to use
- Light and portable
- Not suitable for children under a certain age
FaceLake FL400 Pulse Oximeter
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This product is perfect for sports and recreation usage. It should not be used for any medical reasons, but so it does lose a little flexibility in terms of usage. But for what it does, it does really well. Its 4.0 ounces, which is a little heavier than the traditional pulse oximeters but is still very light and easy to use.
- Perfect for sports use
- Inexpensive for its features
- Can be used for aviation
- Shouldn’t be used for medical conditions
- A little heavier than other oximeters
Finger Pulse Oximeter by Vive Precision
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This oximeter is suitable for all ages, meaning you can use it for anyone from your babies to your grandparents. It has a one year warranty which is a little short, but it is inexpensive so that makes up for that. Its ready straight out of the box, all you need is to put in batteries.
It has an alarm that will alert you in case of any bad results. Its readings come up incredibly quick, there is a very short waiting time between putting it on and finding your results.
- Suitable for all ages.
- Ready to use out of the box
- Has an alarm for bad results
- Reading is generated quickly
- Warranty could be longer
iHealth Air Wireless Fingertip Pulse Oximeter
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This product has been clinically tested and is HIPAA compliant, meaning that you can be sure it is of really high quality. Not only does it measure your oxygen saturation levels, but it also measures your pulse.
It’s really effective to use pre-workout and then after your workout. It is also very effective when used during plane flights, and can be very useful if you are someone who needs to monitor their health regularly while on a flight.
- Very high quality and reliable as it has gone through testing
- Great for comparing pre-workout numbers to post-workout numbers
- Can be used during plane flights to monitor oxygen saturation levels
- Only a one year warranty
Health is very important and when you can get a product like a pulse oximeter for a low price, it’s really worth it. The oximeter may be cheap but the price people pay for not having one can be very high. For people with respiratory problems in their family, especially people who have children with these such problems, purchasing a pulse oximeter is an easy decision.
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