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Guidelines on How to Use a Pulse Oximeter

People use a pulse oximeter for a variety of reasons depending on their needs. Sick people obviously use it to constantly check their oxygen levels. Athletes, on the other hand, use it to determine how much of their oxygen is saturated after doing a physical activity especially if they are on locations with high altitudes. If you are using one, then you must already know how to use it. If you are still having trouble using a pulse oximeter, here some guidelines you can follow.

First consider what type of a pulse oximeter you are using. If they are designed for hospital or home use, they are come with an electrical plug that you need to use. If you bought a portable version, you just have to charge the batteries.

Turn on the machine using the button found on its surface. This will automatically start the machine. In some other models, they make use of a switch. It’s no different from the one with a button; you simply have to turn on the switch to get it going.

Once you have it on, place the sensors or the probe to one part of your body. They are usually placed on the earlobe or the fingertip of a person. Pick the part of the body you feel you have the strongest pulse. A pulse oximeter works on the pressure of the pulse found in the muscles. It will have an easier time reading the oxygen saturation if it reads a strong pulse. In any position, it is important for you to secure the probe nice and tight. Do not let it slip away because that will surely disrupt the results.

Wait patiently for the reading to appear on the screen. Avoid unnecessary movement especially on the area you placed the sensor. If you put it in your fingernail, then don’t move your hand too much because the results from the pulse oximeter will be void.  It is important you remain still and place your finger on a table or armchair. Some models will flash a light indicating that the reading is done.

As you can see, a pulse oximeter is really easy to use. Just follow these basic instructions and you’ll have an accurate reading. After using it, you should be able to know your oxygen saturation.


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