Pulse oximetry is a non-invasive technique that has been widely used in medical practices for decades. It provides healthcare professionals with key information about how well the body is receiving oxygen and also helps to monitor patients’ respiratory conditions. However, […]
Pulse oximetry is a non-invasive technique that has been widely used in medical practices for decades. It provides healthcare professionals with key information about how well the body is receiving oxygen and also helps to monitor patients’ respiratory conditions. However, not everyone knows what does pulse oximetry measure is and how it works. In this article, we will take a deeper look into pulse oximetry, its uses, and why it is an essential tool in the medical field.
Firstly, what is pulse oximetry? It is a technique that measures the amount of oxygen in the blood. It does so by using a pulse oximeter, a small, non-invasive device that is clipped onto a finger, toe, or earlobe. The device uses two wavelengths of light, one red and one infrared, to determine the oxygen saturation of the blood. When the device is clipped onto the finger, it shines light through the finger and measures how much of each wavelength passes through. Depending on the saturation of the blood with oxygen, a different amount of light will pass through. The device then calculates the percentage of oxygen saturation.
Pulse oximetry is commonly used in various medical practices such as critical care, emergency medicine, and anesthesiology. It is especially useful in monitoring patients with respiratory illnesses, sleep apnea, asthma, pneumonia, COPD, and other conditions that require oxygen therapy. By tracking the oxygen saturation levels over time, healthcare professionals can make sure that the patient is receiving enough oxygen and that their respiratory condition is stable.
Moreover, pulse oximetry is also used during surgical procedures where patients are put under anesthesia. During these procedures, the patient’s oxygen saturation can drop unexpectedly and rapidly which can lead to serious complications. This is why pulse oximetry is used to monitor their oxygen saturation levels and any changes can be detected immediately. This allows for prompt intervention to address any issues before they escalate.
In addition, pulse oximetry is also used in newborns. Newborns can experience low oxygen levels during birth which can place them at risk for brain damage, respiratory distress, or even death. Pulse oximetry can detect this early, allowing medical professionals to intervene immediately and give the newborn the needed oxygen supplementation.
In conclusion, pulse oximetry is an essential tool in the medical field as it provides key information about a patient’s oxygen saturation levels, respiratory function, and any issues related to the same. It is a non-invasive, simple, and quick technique that can be used in various medical practices such as critical care, emergency medicine, and anesthesiology. By monitoring the oxygen saturation levels, healthcare professionals can ensure patient safety and avoid complications. Every healthcare professional should understand how to use pulse oximetry and when to use it to ensure the best outcomes for their patients.
It is important for healthcare professionals to stay up-to-date on any new technological advancements related to pulse oximetry, as well as changes in regulations or standards of use. As pulse oximetry is used for a variety of diagnostic and therapeutic purposes, healthcare professionals need to understand the nuances of its usage in different scenarios. Additionally, they must be aware of any potential adverse effects that can arise from its usage and take precautions accordingly. With constant research and advancements, pulse oximetry has become an invaluable tool in improving patient care and safety. It is essential for healthcare professionals to become thoroughly familiar with its use and limitations in order to provide the best care for their patients.