We all strive to do the best to stay healthy and to treat any medical problems timely and effectively. At present the finger pulse oximeter measuring the levels of oxygen in the blood are widely popular to use at home form monitoring a condition and alarming the patients of any abnormalities. There are controversies to whether the devices are helpful or not, which is common for all similar products for personal use that are gaining popularity at present. That is why it is worth assessing the capabilities of the pulse oximeter and its usefulness.
The device measures the oxygen saturation of the blood and the changes in the volume of the blood present in the skin. As the name of the oximeter suggests it also displays readings of the pulse rate and strength. The more sophisticated models also provide the plethysmogram as part of the readings. The device is most often used for the monitoring of hospital patients, but some physicians find it beneficial for permanent home use and recommended it to their patients. The device can be used by people with cardiac, respiratory and sleep disorder problems as well as by highly active sports people to indicate any blood oxygen amount changes and alarm them for any potential dangers associated with these.
The standard fingertip pulse oximeter provides the most accurate readings that can be efficiently used when the person using it breaths air room. Thus, you need a more sophisticated device if you are spending time outside, where the air conditions vary widely. Also, the accuracy of the measurements cannot be guaranteed with certainty as there cases in which various factors distort them. Usually, people with higher methemoglobin levels, will have a reading of oxygen saturation around 85% despite the true level of the amount in their blood.
Most importantly, apart from being used for the determination of the changes in the indicators described above, the device cannot provide any additional data on other important indicators.
This also causes for the finger pulse oximeter to produce inaccurate results and not to give a full picture of the condition of the patient. The device cannot be used to determine circulatory deficiency. The oxygen saturation in the blood can have a regular level, but the blood flow might be insufficient and/or the hemoglobin might be lower than the normal. In cases of patients suffering from reduced oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange in the lungs (hyperventilation) the amount of oxygen in the blood might be perfect, but the other gas might be in excessive amounts.