What Exactly Is SpO2 and How Is It Measured by a Pulse Oximeter
Blood oxygen saturation or better known in the medical field as SpO2 is a very important vital sign in the health of an individual. Read more!
Blood oxygen saturation or better known in the medical field as SpO2 is a very important vital sign in the health of an individual. SpO2 refers to the percentage of oxygen in the hemoglobin in an individual. Many health conditions require the constant and accurate monitoring of SpO2 in order to make sure that you are operating a optimal health or to prevent any other health conditions.
Pulse Oximeter - Source: By User: Stefan Bellini - adaptation from <a class="external free" href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pulox_Pulse_Oximeter.JPG">https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pulox_Pulse_Oximeter.JPG</a>, CC0, Link
A medical and health device that has always been used to monitor the oxygen levels in an individual is a pulse oximeter. A pulse oximeter is a medical and health device that is used to measure the pulse rate and blood oxygen saturation of an individual. In the past, this device was obviously reserved for the hospital and clinical settings. If you have ever been to a hospital, chances are that you have definitely been either exposed to an oximeter device or even had one used on you. It would have been that device that connects to your index finger and then on a big computer screen you see your pulse rate and other numbers go up and down.
The device is absolutely critical in the medical field but the problem was always that it was only used in the medical field and never in the home environment. Many individuals living with various medical conditions have to monitor their health wherever they go. For example, those living with asthma or COPD need to monitor their oxygen levels wherever they go because it is absolutely essential to their health.
The way the pulse oximeter measures the oxygen levels of an individual is quite complicated in some respects and quite simple in other respects. The nontechnical way that the device operates and measures the vital signs is as such. By inserting your finger inside the portable device an infrared light passes through you finger. But you will actually never feel the light and will never feel any discomfort because the light is an infrared light and does not in any way affect your physically. As the light passes through your finger it also passes through the finger's tissue and then through the blood. Hemoglobin absorbs light at different frequencies and as such the infrared light that goes through the finger bounces back to the oximeter device computer with a number that represents the oxygen levels of the body. This number means the world to people who live with conditions that require accurate monitoring of the oxygen levels in the body.
Oximeter devices continue to break ground not only in the hospital setting but also the home setting as well. No longer do individuals need to be at their physician's office or a hospital in order to take advantage of such a device to monitor their health.
The newest generations of devices are not only extremely small and portable but they also are extremely affordable. So individuals living with various health conditions that are necessary to measure their oxygen levels can now use the device in the comfort of their home without ever having to worry about not monitoring their health on a continuous basis.
How Does Monitoring SpO2 By A Physician With A Pulse Oximeter Help With Asthma
If you have ever heard of the term SpO2 and wondered what it is then search no more. SpO2 is also known as blood oxygen saturation and in essence represents the percentage of oxygen in the hemoglobin. This number is quite important for those that live with asthma because measuring the exact amount of oxygen in the body is essential to determining whether the person is at risk of experiencing an asthma attack.
An asthma attack can come about in any situation especially when a person least expects it. The reason for this is because this health condition in essence prevents the free flow of oxygen to get into the body and as a result what happens is that the individual will experience a shortness of breath. Many times the attack can be so severe that even inhalers will not be able to help. As a result, physicians tend to recommend the use of a pulse oximeter to monitor the blood oxygen saturation levels.
The way that the pulse oximeter works to measure the oxygen saturation is quite unique in the whole spectrum of medical devices. Essentially when you place your finger inside the pulse oximeter what happens is that an infrared light passes through the finger. This light in essence is completely not harmful and the reason why it is used is because hemoglobin in the blood has varying light absorptive characteristics and as such this is the way that the computer of the device measures the levels.
The main reason why physicians tend to recommend this device is because of its portable nature. When you have respiratory health conditions you need the ability to be able to measure your oxygen levels wherever and whenever that you need to. As a result a pulse oximeter is a very useful tool that satisfied both these criteria.
November 25, 2021