Pulse oximetry is an examination for the measurement of oxygen levels in your blood. The test is a painless process of how well oxygen is sent to various parts of your body from your heart. It can capture any small changes in the oxygen saturation level. It can be said for the examination Pulse oximeter is used and it functions like a clip which is affix to fingers, toes, or earlobes. This examination generally happens in ICU or emergency cases in hospitals.
Benefits of pulse oximetry
Basically, the function of this medical test is to scrutinize whether your heart is properly pumping oxygen through your arteries to the different parts of the body. If anyone is affected by diseases like asthma, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, and anemia, then it is suggested to undergo this test to supervise their oxygen level. Patients with serious respiratory problems must monitor their oxygen saturation levels regularly and it is mandatory if they are not feeling well. Pilots, mountaineers, and people residing in high altitudes must have this test done to protect themselves from hypoxia. During surgery pulse oximetry is required as well as it is necessary after the surgery for measuring the oxygen level. In order to examine whether a ventilator can be used for the specific patient, the examination is very necessary.
Methods of Pulse oximetry
You have to follow certain steps to experience the test. The process is not at all complicated, the only thing is you have to keep patience and follow the instructions suggested by your doctor. The process of the examination is as follows:
- In this test, a clip-type of the appliance is positioned on your finger, earlobe, and toe. In this process, you will feel a little pressure, but there is no feeling of pain in it. If it is required, a slight probe may be set on your finger or forehead with a sticky gluey. Please remove nail polish before the examination. The variant colors of the nail polish can affect the accuracy of the oxygen saturation level in your blood.
- You have to retain the probe on your finger or toe or forehead to the extent it is required to evaluate your pulse and oxygen levels. The probe will be necessary during the supervision of physical activity abilities; this will be also needed throughout the period of exercising and during the recovery period. In case of surgery, the probe will be attached in advance and removed once you’re awake and relieved from monitoring. Finally, after the examination, the clip will be detached.
Pulse oximetry generally shows the accurate result for the oxygen level in the blood. The reading is consistent and stable, there can be only two percent variation from the actual saturation level. For example, if your percentage of reading of the machinery is 90, then the exact oxygen saturation level may vary from 88 to 92 percent. Various colors of nail polish can affect the reading of the test and also movement can cause the wrong reading of the saturation level. Another important aspect is if there is much variation in the waveform in the oximetry reading then there could be a physiological change in the patient. Hence, the quality of the waveform is necessary for the proper reading of the oxygen level in the blood.
Generally, over 89 percent of your blood must consist of oxygen to retain adequate body cells, enabling to have a healthy body. If an oxygen level measures below this, then temporarily it is not harmful but if this continues then it can harm you. If your oxygen saturation level is 95 percent then it’s a sign of good health. In the end it can be said that pulse oximetry plays an important role in monitoring your health condition.