A pulse oximeter
is a device used to check the oxygen level conveniently. The device is attached to the skin of the patient which then displays the oxygen present in the person’s body and also the pulse rate. There are several situations where the usage of a pulse oximeter becomes inevitable.
The device is most commonly found in the hospital emergency room and in the operation theatre. In the operation theater, during a surgery it is essential that the complete body functioning of the patient is kept in normal working condition. The pulse oximeter is usually fixed to a translucent skin part and usually the index finger is used for this purpose. During a surgery, the oximeter is fixed to the index finger and maintained so till the end of the procedures. This helps the professionals to keep a check on the oxygen levels of the patients and monitor if it goes below the normal level. The lowering of oxygen level during the surgery would indicate immediate attention as it is a deadly situation. It is used in the hospital emergency room also to keep check on the O2 levels of critical patients.
You might have come across the pulse oximeter even while you are on some other procedure. Any time that the doctor feels that a close watch has to be maintained on your oxygen levels, pulse oximeter is used. Patients suffering from respiratory disorder might even by recommended to use it daily at home. The diagnosis of sleep apnea and COPD is usually done using this device. A person suffering from sleep apnea stops breathing while sleeping turning fatal at times. For the purpose of diagnosis of sleep apnea, the doctor requests the patient to say at the hospital at night. Pulse oximeter is fixed to the patient’s body and it monitors the activity of the person overnight. The report from the device is checked by the doctor to confirm if the person is suffering from sleep apnea.
Other than its frequent usage in hospitals and doctors, there are even other places where pulse oximeter is found to be used. While flying on high altitudes, there is very less oxygen available for breathing. Pulse oximeter is usually used by pilots when they are testing an aircraft or while flying on high altitudes. In extreme heights, when the oxygen level in the atmosphere reduces, this will eventually affect the breathing capacity of the pilot and they will have to use oxygen masks. When this unavailability of oxygen is left unnoticed, it can lead to unconsciousness. By using a pulse oximeter, the pilot can keep a check on the oxygen level in the body while in altitudes of above 12,000 feet from sea level. This will help then to take necessary action as and when the oxygen level falls below the normal.