Pulse Oximeters – How, When, & Where They’re Helping in Times of COVID-19

A pulse oximeter is a small, lightweight, and portable device that helps you monitor the oxygen saturation of hemoglobin in the arterial blood. It measures the oxygen saturation levels non-invasively. It means that no medical device is inserted into the body cavity. A display attached to the top of the device displays the results for each reading.

Measuring oxygen saturation is as important as measuring the pulse rate and hence pulse oximeters are a valuable piece of equipment. But its demand and importance suddenly boomed after the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information on this helpful device, read on below.


How Pulse Oximeter is Helping During COVID-19

Since the world was hit by the COVID-19 virus, the daily number of cases has been increasing rapidly. Medical professionals are busy working day and night to treat the infected patients and scientists are researching to find a possible cure for the disease.

Amid this pandemic, the people should stay inside their homes and take every possible precaution.

People infected from the COVID-19 virus will show possible symptoms. But there are cases where these symptoms are missing termed as silent hypoxia. As per reports by the National Geographic, patients may suffer from abnormally low-levels of blood saturation levels, i.e. below 92%, without even realising it. This could lead to people ending up in the hospital.

Using a Pulse Oximeter can help you keep a check on the levels of oxygen saturation in your blood. We all should keep the device at home and monitor regularly. If it drops below the recommended level, seek immediate medical help. It is small, affordable, and a must-have device at home, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic.

How To Measure Readings on a Pulse Oximeter

Readings Explained

Pulse oximeter’s reading is measured in SpO2. It stands for the Saturation of Peripheral Oxygen (SpO2). SpO2 is the measure of the amount of oxygen-carrying hemoglobin in the blood and shows the reading along with a graph.

Some Pulse Oximeters have an index called PI, or Perfusion Index. This is a measure for physicians to check if a sensor site has good pulse strength. A sensor site can be your fingertip, earlobe, etc. PI is the ratio of the pulsatile blood flow (flow with periodic variation) to the non-pulsatile static blood flow in peripheral tissue.

Normal & Danger Levels as per COVID-19

The normal oxygen saturation usually lies between 95% – 100% (SpO2). When this drops below 92% (SpO2), it may lead to symptoms like breathlessness where you may need immediate medical assistance.


What Should You Check For When Buying a Pulse Oximeter

When buying a pulse oximeter, there are some important points to keep in mind:

  • A good Pulse Oximeter displays SpO2 recordings along with a graph.
  • When buying a Pulse Oximeter for home use, see if the display is clear and also check for accuracy.
  • While most Pulse Oximeters measure higher recordings accurately, most fail during lower SpO2 measurements. A Pulse Oximeter that comes with a PI indication comes in handy for the physician to better assess your condition

Why You Should Buy a Pulse Oximeter

Still wondering if it’s worth buying a pulse oximeter? Consider the following points:

  • It’s a portable & affordable device worthy of a routine health check.
  • If you’re suffering from any type of respiratory medical condition, it’s important to keep it around.
  • Your risk of getting infected is higher if you’re working in COVID-19 infection-prone areas.

If you’re looking to buy a pulse oximeter online, BPL SmartOxy is one of the best ones in the market currently. It’s equipped with a four-direction display with ±2% accuracy. Its PI recordings are displayed along with the graph. Buy now from Amazon

Note: Please note that there is always a margin of error. So if you develop any possible symptom of COVID-19, don’t rely solely on any medical device, immediately consult your medical care provider.

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