Finger pulse oximeters are a quick and easy way to keep track of your pulse and blood oxygen levels on the go.
Using a finger pulse oximeter is non-invasive and quickly measures the oxygen level in your bloodstream. The oxygen level in your body should be within a specific range for it to function correctly. With a finger pulse oximeter, you can self-administer a test to check these level and report your findings to a medical professional if needed.
A finger pulse oximeter uses IR rays to check the oxygen levels. These rays can differentiate between the absorption of light by oxygenated and deoxygenated blood. It does this by checking the quality of the ray that is received after passing through your finger. The device will give you a final reading that measures the percentage of blood that is oxygenated in your body. This is proven to be a clinically safe process. It is a painless process that just needs a little bit of time to give you accurate results.
Read more to know why and how you should use a finger pulse oximeter.
Why Should you use a Finger pulse Oximeter?
It is not uncommon for waiting for lines in hospitals to be frustratingly long. Using a finger pulse oximeter can significantly cut the time you would have spent in an outpatient area. These simple devices are built to provide the same accuracy as the machinery used in hospitals. If you have a condition that requires periodic monitoring of the blood in your system, using this device at home is just what you need. Some conditions that need oxygen level monitoring are:
- Lung diseases like asthma or lung cancer.
- Congenital heart conditions
- Heart issues like cardiac arrest
- Pulmonary diseases
- A few specific allergic reactions
Consult with your physician to know if your medical condition warrants the tracking of blood oxygen levels.
How should you use a pulse oximeter?
For best results, you should follow a few steps while you measure your blood oxygen levels.
Step 1: Breath gently for a while to make sure that you do not get a false reading due to a high heart rate.
Step 2: Ensure that your hand is at room temperature. Cleanse your finger of any substance like nail polish or moisturizer that will distort the IR rays that pass through your finger.
Step 3: Remove any plastic wrap that may be present between the prongs of the oximeter if it is a new device.
Step 4: Turn on the device.
Step 5: Lower your hand below the height of your heart. We suggest you sit on a flat surface while taking the test to ensure correct readings.
Step 6: Keep still and clip on the oximeter to your finger. The best finger to use for a pulse oximeter is the right middle finger or right thumb. It is statistically proven to get better results when either of these two fingers is used. Clip your pulse oximeter to either of those fingers to test your oxygen level. If you are testing a child, gently clip it to the child's right big toe.
Step 7: You should see the values fluctuate slightly for the first few seconds. After the value remains stable for more than 5 seconds, you can note it down.
Step 8: Check to see if your reading is within the accepted range. If not, contact your physician to receive further medical attention.
Step 9: Repeat the process again if you are not convinced of the reading accuracy. For example, if you had not kept still when taking the oximeter test.
Step 10: Note down your reading along with the date and time of taking the test. This will be a helpful guide in case you end up needing additional medical attention.
What is a normal blood oxygen level?
There is a specific set level of oxygen we require in our blood. In order to test it, conduct the oximeter test at least twice to ensure an accurate result. It is also helpful to stay calm while you take the oximeter test.
Generally, if your oxygen level is between 95% and 100% then you are within the normal levels and have nothing to worry about.
A good rule of thumb is to contact your physician if your blood oxygen level falls below 93% on two consecutive tests. Give yourself five to ten minutes between each of these tests to ensure you're getting an accurate reading.
Finger pulse oximeters are a great way to keep track of your blood oxygen levels, they're convenient and can be carried with you while you are on the go. If you have a condition that requires you to track your oxygen levels, then carrying a pulse oximeter with you is a great idea.