A pulse oximeter is a device designed to estimate the oxygen saturation of the blood and pulse rate. Pulse oximeters take measurements by placing the device on your fingertip. Read below for important need-to-knows related to pulse oximeters and how to take a reading.
Pulse Oximeter Need-to-Knows
We are going to provide important terminology and additional information related to pulse oximeters.
- Follow your health care provider's recommendation about when and how often to use a pulse oximeter and contact them in regards to any concerns.
- Oxygen saturation level is abbreviated as SpO2 and is presented as a percentage. For most healthy individuals, the values range between 95% to 100%.
- Pulse rate is abbreviated as PR and is similar to heart rate.
Pulse oximeters have limitations when it comes to accuracy. To ensure you are taking the most accurate reading, keep these in mind:
- Follow the instructions.
- Make sure your hand is warm, relaxed, and held below the level of the heart.
- Nail polish and acrylic/press-on nails are recommended to be removed before taking a reading.
How to Take a Reading
Taking a reading may also depend on the type of pulse oximeter device you are using. Please make sure to read the instruction for use before taking a reading.
- Place finger into the rubber cushions of the device.
- Press the button on the pulse oximeter.
- Remain still during the reading.
- Wait a few seconds until reading stops and displays a number.
- Read information from screen display.
- Write down oxygen levels with date and time.
How to Clean a Pulse Oximeter
Please refer to the instructions for use as it may vary depending on the device you are using. For BV Medical Pulse Oximeters, we recommend always cleaning the surface of the device before use to prevent cross infection. Wipe it down with isopropyl alcohol, also known as rubbing alcohol, and let it air dry or wipe dry with a clean cloth.
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