Medical Equipment Blog

How Does a Finger Pulse Oximeter Work?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Even if you're not a medical trained staff member, you can use finger pulse oximeters in your daily life to monitor medical conditions or to assess emergency situations. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about pulse oximetry and the correct use of a finger pulse oximeter. Finger pulse oximeters work by measuring the aterial blood's oxygen saturation. What happens each time your heart beats is that you are pushing oxygenated blood out to the perimeters of your body. And when the heart contracts, it's pulling the non-oxygenated blood back to the lungs to get oxygen. This cycle continues again and again. When your heart beats, the pulse oximeter will measure the oxygen that's in this aterial blood as it moves out from the heart. You will receive the measurement in a percentage – anything over 90% is safe, though 94% is considered to be ideal. Beams of light from the oximeter determine the oxygen saturation of the blood as it moves away from the heart, and that's how the oximeter produces that percentage. The good news is that anyone can use a finger pulse oximeter. In fact, this is one of the first things that happen when you are admitted to the hospital for an emergency treatment. To make sure you are getting enough oxygen, you will get a pulse oximeter on your finger. Adults and children alike can use these monitors to check their oxygen levels, though there are different sizes for both ages or there are different finger placement rules for differently sized fingers.

Pulse Oximeters also come in different models and options:

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