Pulse Oximeters measure how much of the haemoglobin in blood is carrying oxygen (oxygen saturation).

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Pulse oximeters are in common use because they are: non invasive, cheap to buy and use, can be very compact and detect hypoxaemia earlier than you using your eyes to see cyanosis.

Used by Cliniciains, Paramedics, Nurses, Health Units, Sports Enthusiasts, Home Users, these devices are a wonderful aid in detecting the amount of oxygen carried through the blood.
Finger Tip Pulse Oximeter shows Oxygen level and Pulse Rate

The oximeter provides a non-invasive method of determining the amount of oxygen gets pumped from your heart through your circulatory system. By placing a pulse oximeter over your fingertip, it measures your blood oxygen saturation. By using a light and a sensor, the Pulse Oximeter measures the color of your blood and then using a mathematical algorithm, determines the oxygen saturation level. 

Pulse oximetry uses light to work out oxygen saturation. Light is emitted from light sources which goes across the pulse oximeter probe and reaches the light detector. If a finger is placed in between the light source and the light detector, the light will now have to pass through the finger to reach the detector. Part of the light will be absorbed by the finger and the part not absorbed reaches the light detector.
Here are some general guidelines to understand oximeter readings.
For a regular healthy person, the normal blood oxygen saturation level (SpO2) should be around 94% to 99%. For patients with mild respiratory diseases, the SpO2 should be 90% or above. Supplementary oxygen should be used if SpO2 level falls below 90%, which is unacceptable for a prolonged period of time.
A plethysmograph is an instrument for measuring changes in volume within an organ or whole body (usually resulting from fluctuations in the amount of blood or air it contains). A photoplethysmograph (PPG) is a plethysmograph that uses optical techniques. A pulse oximeter measures oxygen saturation level (SpO2) and is also a PPG. It can measure the change in the volume of arterial blood with each pulse beat. This change in blood volume can be detected in peripheral parts of the body such as the fingertip or ear lobe using a technique called photoplethysmography. The pulse oximeter that detects the signal is called a plethysmograph (or 'Pleth' for short).

Some Pulse Oximeters have this graph as well.

Pulse oximeter is used medically by patients with asthma, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic obstructive airway diseases (COAD), and other respiratory conditions. Patients with serious respiratory problems should have their SpO2 levels check regularly and especially if they are not feeling well.
For many patients, doctors often recommend exercise to improve their physical state. However exercise can result in increasing shortness of breath, patients should monitor their oxygen saturation with pulse oximeters while exercising so they can adjust the pace as the oxygen saturation decreases.
Patients with serious cardiac condition would often experienced low SpO2 levels. Pulse oximeters would help them to monitor their conditions and use supplementary oxygen when required. Pleth graph produced by a pulse oximeter shows the change in blood volume during a heart pulse is often a good indication of certain heart conditions.
Pilots, mountain climbers and people in high altitudes also use pulse oximeters to help guard against hypoxia.
Proper breathing techniques, such as pursed lip breathing, can increase your oxygen saturation level. Lots of patients with low oxygen saturations are able to increase their saturations all the way up to 93% with good breathing techniques. Practice and pulse oximeter will help patients to achieve this level of efficiency.
Pulse oximeter can also help athletes in high altitude training. The reduction in oxygen level can increase red blood cells in athletes and help to increase his/her endurance.
SOLMED supplies various models of Finger Pulse Oximeters to suit all budgets. All devices have been approved registered with FDA & TGA and carry a CE Mark.

Many Pulse Oximeters now display Pulse Rates.

newborn       1 — 12      months       1 — 2       years       2 — 6      years       7 — 12       years       13 years — adults    adult athletes   
 120 - 160      80 - 140     80 - 130    75 - 120    75 - 110      60 - 100    40 - 60


The rate of the pulse is observed and measured by tactile or visual means on the outside of an artery and is recorded as beats per minute or BPM.

The pulse may be further indirectly observed under light absorbances of varying wavelengths with assigned and inexpensively reproduced mathematical ratios. Applied capture of variances of light signal from the blood component haemoglobin under oxygenated vs. deoxygenated conditions allows the technology of Pulse Oximetry.


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