How does a pulse oximeter work?

Pulse Oximeter At Home – How Does A Pulse Oximeter Work?

It’s impressive to acknowledge the many revolutionary medical instruments that allow patients to monitor their health conditions at home and take requisite action whenever there’s alarm. One such equipment is a Pulse Oximeter, a finger-sized, but a handy instrument in measuring a person’s heart rate and the oxygen level in their blood. However, even when it is a great tool, readily available in many medical equipment stores, including DJ Medquip, but many users can’t quite decipher how the instrument works.

How a Pulse Oximeter can be used

It is based on the principle that blood rich in oxygen have a distinctive color and very much different from that has little or no oxygen at all. And simple as it seems, the device typically help monitor and in treatment of patients suffering from COPD, asthma, Congestive Heart Failure, and other related illnesses. Two powerful beams of light are shone through the patient’s finger for the Pulse Oximeter to tell (with near-perfect results) if a person is asthmatic, or rather hypoxic, or not.

It is the visible red beam that works with the invisible infrared light to help the pulse oximeter detect the color of blood flowing through the arteries and their subsequent oxygen saturation. It will capture the pulse rate – digitals marked by the small heart on the LCD screen, and the level of oxygen in the blood and the two findings are then interpreted. However, the amount of infrared light absorbed by the finger may vary and thus give unsatisfactory results.

Pulse Oximeters Are Prone To Various Limitations

Even when it may seem intricate to understand the outcomes, it is imperative to buy a top-quality Pulse Oximeter. The best of these devices should be using the finest technologies so that the findings don’t deceive. Essentially, such technologies as PureSAT pulse oximetry technology and the better ones are near-precise in relaying the results for interpretation.

Limitations are directly linked to the quality of the instrument. For instance, some particular pulse oximeter only offers a limited amount of information regarding the individual’s blood saturation and thus a limited insight into what one might be suffering from. When it can’t tell the concentration of carbon dioxide in the blood yet this compound could be more than usable oxygen, then it may be ineffective in what’s intended for. That’s why you should always buy a premier quality device.

Even when the doctor’s pulse oximeters is expectedly superior, it is unwise to compare yours with his or hers. Sure, inexpensive pulse oximeters exist, but some of them are of a reliably better quality and offer the right results. Its effectiveness depends with how the pulse beats – whether irregular, healthy, weak or not present at all.

How to Understand the Readings from Pulse Oximeters

Ideally, understanding the interpretations isn’t hard given that most of them should exhibit a relatively normal heart beat rate of between 60-100 beats per minute. When the rate is higher than optimal yet oxygen numbers are normal, it basically means the heart could be beating harder to keep the saturations in their optimum. Of course, such an occurrence is abnormal and indicates the presence of a problem.


Again, if the rate of heartbeat is high and oxygen levels low, it could be a sign of another problem. It is all about discerning them vis-à-vis the standard rates. However, whether it is the former or the latter, the best thing as per the physicians is to relax for a moment before repeating the process. When it the results are consistent, do call your doctor.