How to use a Pulse Oximeter?

Principles of Pulse Oximeter

Are you looking for measurement of oxygen level in your blood? Or do you want to measure pulse rate? Instead of going to a diagnostic nursing or hospital, pulse oximeter is the best handy option available which is very easy to install and use. You can get best and accurate results if you continue with precautions and care. The pulse oximeter is the device that monitors and measures your pulse rate and oxygen level in your heart. The below content will guide your about how to use a pulse oximeter.

The pulse oximeter is provided with the probe (clip like tool for input purposes- for sending light of two different wavelengths) which must be correctly installed on the patient body parts like fingertip, ear lope or toe finger in case of infant or a child. Probes are generally fragile and one must use them very carefully. Remember that the probe should not be too tight that it constrains the circulation nor too loose that it falls down or has a gap so that other environment light may enter. There are some rules listed below that need to be taken care for accurate results:

Precautions for use

1- Do not use the pulse oximeter in an MRI or CT environment.

2- Do not use the pulse oximeter in situations where alarms are required. The device has no alarms.

3- Explosion hazard: Do not use the pulse oximeter in an explosive atmosphere.

4- The pulse oximeter is intended only as an adjunct in patient assessment. It must be used in conjunction with other methods of assessing clinical signs and symptoms.

5- Check the pulse oximeter sensor application site frequently to determine the positioning of the sensor and circulation and skin sensitivity of the patient.

6- Do not stretch the adhesive tape while applying the pulse oximeter sensor. This may cause inaccurate readings or skin blisters.

7- Before use, carefully read the manual.

8- The pulse oximeter has no SpO2 alarms; it is not for continuous monitoring  as indicated by the symbol.

9- Prolonged use or the patient’s condition may require changing the sensor site periodically. Change sensor site and check skin integrity, circulatory status, and correct alignment at least every 4 hours.

10- Inaccurate measurements may be caused by a utoclaving, ethylene oxide sterilizing, or immersing the sensors in liquid may cause inaccurate readings.

11- Significant levels of dysfunctional hemoglobins(such as carbonxy- hemoglobin or methemoglobin)

12- Intravascular dyes such as indocyanine green or methylene blue.

13- SpO2 measurements may be adversely affected in the presence of high ambient light. Shield the sensor area (with a surgical towel, or direct sunlight, for example) if necessary

14- Excessive patient movement.

15- Venous pulsations.

16- Placement of a sensor on an extremity with a blood pressure cuff, arterial catheter, or intravascular line.

17- The patient has hypotension, severe vasoconstriction, severe anemia, or hypothermia.

18- The patient is in cardiac arrest or is in shock.

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