A few months back, I was looking to buy a pulse oximeter for my home to monitor my blood oxygen level. I was no stranger to home pulse oximeters. I have used high-tech pulse oximeters on my patients in the hospital.
Also, I have a pulse oximeter that I bought from CVS a while back for home use. However, I had never been very confident about the accuracy of this pulse oximeter that I bought in CVS. This oximeter’s readings seemed to change from one minute to the next minute. Also, it took this pulse oximeter a long time to display a reading.
So, I got on Google to find a good and accurate pulse oximeter. I got overwhelmed by the overload of information. Which manufacturer should I believe? Which oximeter should I buy?
Therefore, I started investigating for myself to find out which pulse oximeters are good ones. My investigation was driven by my need to find the best pulse oximeter and also to educate myself more on pulse oximetry.
My investigation on pulse oximetry led me to understand that if I wanted an unquestionably accurate pulse oximeter, I had to get a pulse oximeter that has been approved by the FDA.
Surprisingly, I found that many pulse oximeter manufacturers claimed that they have FDA approval without having such approval. When I searched through the FDA database for some manufacturers that claimed to have FDA approval for their pulse oximeters, I could not find these manufacturers’ pulse oximeter in the FDA database.
Also, from my investigation, I found that there is no one-size-fit-all for pulse oximeters. More importantly, one of the things that make an oximeter ‘the best’ is how appropriate it is for what you want to use it for. Therefore, in this article, I listed the best oximeters according to the application.
My research on pulse oximeters also led me to develop a better understanding of how pulse oximeters work. This knowledge was very useful for me in knowing which oximeter is good and which one is not good. Therefore, in this article, I will explain how a pulse oximeter works and what qualities make a good pulse oximeter. I hope this understanding will help you in picking a pulse oximeter if you decide to pick a pulse oximeter that is not on my recommended list.
In this article, I will let you know what pulse oximeter is most suited for ensuring that your blood oxygen level is always at a safe level if:
JN® FINGERTIP PULSE OXIMETER – Oxygen Monitor
According to the American Lung Association, a pulse oximeter is an electronic device that measures the saturation of oxygen carried in your red blood cells. It can be used by doctors for patients with symptoms of shortness of breath or a known lung or heart condition.
Bravo TV host Andy Cohen, who tested positive for the coronavirus, said the small device helped in his recovery.
According to a report by Yahoo!, Cohen said using a pulse oximeter to monitor his oxygen at home helped keep him from needing to head to the hospital.
“You could scare yourself and think, ‘Oh my God, my lungs don’t feel right,’ but you could use this pulse oximeter and see, ‘OK, well actually, you’re fine, you’re within the range,’” he said.
“So that’s my pro-tip,” Cohen said, according to the Yahoo! article. “Make sure you have Tylenol and a pulse oximeter.”
According to a report by HealthLeaders, officials at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett in Washington State, which admitted the first U.S. COVID-19 patient, are sending patients who are likely positive for COVID-19 but not admitted to the hospital home with a thermometer and pulse oximeter to monitor their symptoms.
When you wear a pulse oximeter, you may see light emitting from the inside of it. This is normal, as one side of the unit generates light of differing wavelengths
When a doctor seeks pulse oximetry information, he or she wants to measure the level of oxygen saturation in the blood. This data helps professionals determine how well the body’s organs are working.
A pulse oximeter is a small device that clips over a fingertip. Some people confuse pulse oximetry with the blood-drawing process, but these are two separate tests. A pulse oximeter doesn’t pierce the skin.
The unit generates light
When you wear a pulse oximeter, you may see light emitting from the inside of it. This is normal, as one side of the unit generates light of differing wavelengths.
Often, a unit will generate a minimum of two light wavelengths: red visible light and infrared light. Some units generate other light wavelengths, too.
The light detector receives light
On the other side of unit’s interior is a light detector. It receives and measures the intensity of the light the generator creates.
Light passes through the finger
If your finger were not in the pulse oximeter, the light would easily travel from the generator to the detector. But with your finger in the device, much of the light is blocked and absorbed before it reaches the detector. The detector measures the amount of light that passes through your finger to reach the detector.
The unit interprets light absorption
By measuring the light, the pulse oximeter determines the oxygenation of your blood. Hemoglobin absorbs light waves when it carries oxygen. Additionally, the pulse oximeter uses the light data to measure blood vessel size and non-oxygenated hemoglobin. Within seconds, the pulse oximeter uses this data to determine your oxygenation level.
Even if you don’t know anything about pulse oximeters, you can still make a smart buying decision with the right information in hand. At BodyWinning, we perform extensive research in every product category. To avoid bias, we always decline offers from manufacturers for “free” samples. We want to be your go-to source for honest, thorough product reviews you can trust.