Pulse oximeter is a nonintrusive medical device used to measure the oxygen level of a patient. Beams of infrared light determine the saturation of oxygen carried by the hemoglobin of the blood. Hemoglobin is a component found in blood that transports oxygen to cells throughout the body. The oxygen saturation of the arteries is measured using the symbol SPO2. Oxygen levels can be monitored either constantly or intermittently. Pulse oximeters can detect sudden and critical changes in oxygen levels before symptoms and other signs in blood manifest.
When using finger pulse oximeters, choose a finger where the probe will be placed. The index finger is commonly used for the device, but any finger will work as long as it is clean and uncontaminated. Remove all nail polish and other cosmetics from the fingernail before using it, as well as artificial nails.
Clip the probe of the finger pulse oximeter onto the finger, over the nail bed. Attaching the probe is very similar to attaching a clothes pin. Make sure that the probe snugly fits over the fingers and no signs of pain can be felt upon clipping it on. If it does not comfortably fit on the finger, choose another one.
Then, turn the device on. Allow the oximeter to calibrate and run itself to a series of tests. After the device has configured itself, observe how strong the pulse signal is. If the current finger with the probe is indicating a poor or no signal at all, which is often a sign of a weak pulse, poor blood circulation or simply cold hands, put the probe to another finger. Look at the monitor in order to see the percentage of the oxygen saturation of blood. You have to bear in mind that normal saturation level ranges between ninety five and one hundred percent. Levels of bloody oxygenation vary greatly, depending on the overall health of the patient using it. If the percentage drops below ninety percent, consult medical assistance immediately.
After using it, clean the finger pulse oximeter using the provided cleaning supplies that come along with the package, especially if it is used for more than one patient. You could also use alcohol or disinfectant solution for cleaning it. Remember to clean the device and the probe, most especially if it has been used for quite a long time.