Home Use Pulse Oximeters To Check Oxygen In Blood

If you find yourself on this page, there is a very good chance you are looking to buy a Pulse Oximeter or at least, just know more about them. If so, then you have come to the right place cause this article is going to be all about pulse oximeters and nothing else.

Pulse oximeters are noninvasive devices that help to find the amount of saturated oxygen in the blood.

It is also used to check the pulse rate of the patient.

How a pulse oximeter works is,

The probe of the pulse oximeter is clamped on a thin part of the patient’s body such as a fingertip or an earlobe. The probe then sends two wavelengths of light through the body part to a photodetector, i.e. a receiver. Oxygenated haemoglobin absorbs one of the two wavelengths of light while de-oxygenated haemoglobin absorbs the other wavelength. The photodetector or receiver analyzes the two wavelengths after they have passed through the body part and determines the blood oxygen level.

Pulse oximeters have become more common than blood gas tests due to their non-invasiveness.

A medical procedure is said to be non-invasive when no break in the skin is created, as is done by using a syringe.

An arterial blood gas test is a blood test that is done to determine the amounts of certain gases in the arterial blood. For an arterial blood gas test, blood sample is drawn from an artery such as from the wrist.

On the contrary, pulse oximeters do not need a blood sample to determine the amount of oxygen in arterial blood but rather depend on absorption of wavelengths of light by oxygenated haemoglobin.

Moreover, pulse oximeters are also capable of producing real-time results unlike arterial blood gas tests, which could take some time to produce the results. Pulse oximeters are capable of producing quick results without compromising on accuracy.

Pulse oximeters have been observed to provide accurate results with a wide range of patients, regardless of sex and age. They are also very compact devices and are easy to use, and can be used by any person. Add to that how affordable they are and it will not be a surprise as to why they are becoming more and more common these days. ( Refer Blood Glucose Meter Here )

Types of Pulse Oximeters

There are five types of pulse oximeters that are available in the market. They are:-  

1. Finger pulse oximeter 

2. Handheld pulse oximeter 

3. Table top pulse oximeter 

4. Wrist worn pulse oximeter 

5. Paediatric pulse oximeter

  • Finger Pulse Oximeters

Finger Pulse Oximeter

Finger pulse oximeters are also known as Portable pulse oximeters. As the name suggests, such oximeters are small and portable and are generally used on the fingertips. The oximeter is simply clipped on the finger and the display screen is on the probe itself. When the oximeter is clipped on the finger, the results are shown on the screen, almost instantaneously.

Such oximeters are battery operated and are very useful to check blood oxygen levels at home. The ease of use of such oximeters, portability, and affordability, makes this type of oximeters especially suited for use at home or to check oxygen saturation levels by clinicians, caregivers or by patients themselves.

  • Handheld Pulse Oximeters

Handheld Pulse Oximeter

Handheld pulse oximeters are slightly more sophisticated than the finger pulse oximeter and are capable of producing more accurate results.

A handheld pulse oximeter has two parts, the probe and the display screen which is a handheld screen. The two parts are connected via a cable. The probe is attached to the person’s finger; ideally, the index finger and the blood oxygen levels are shown on the screen.

Such pulse oximeters are capable of continuous oxygen saturation monitoring. They are mostly used in hospitals, ambulances, medical institutes and emergency medical services (EMS).

  • Tabletop Oximeters

Tabletop Pulse Oximeter

Tabletop oximeters are bigger than handheld pulse oximeters and are very similar to handheld oximeters. Like handheld oximeters, tabletop oximeters also have two parts, the probe and the display screen, connected by a cable. They are generally used in hospitals, medical facilities and home care centers/settings.

Some tabletop oximeters come with audio and visual alarms, to warn people around when parameters like blood oxygen level and pulse rate fall below the safe range.

Most tabletop oximeters also come with plethysmograph display as well and are suitable for monitoring adults, kids and even neonate patients. They even come with a provision to store data or logs for several patients, even up to 100 in some cases.

  • Wrist Worn Oximeters

Wrist Worn Pulse Oximeter

Wrist worn oximeters are just like the wrist watches that one wears. This type of pulse oximeter is used for continuous monitoring.

In many cases, the doctor may want to monitor your blood oxygen levels on a daily basis, or during your sleep, wrist-worn oximeters are ideal for such cases.

The probe is attached to the patient’s finger, and the readings are displayed on a screen which is worn on the wrist, just like a wrist watch. The probe and the screen are connected by a short cable, which will not be a hindrance as you go about your daily work.

Such oximeters are capable of storing data as well. Some oximeters even have wireless connectivity via Bluetooth for wireless data transfer while others have USB connectivity for transfer of data.

  • Pediatric Pulse Oximeters

Paediatric Pulse Oximeter

Paediatric pulse oximeters are oximeters specially designed for kids, especially infants below the age of 4. They are finger pulse oximeters but built and designed to cater kids and their smaller fingers without any problems.

Regular finger pulse oximeters are bigger in size and cannot cater to the smaller fingers of kids, and hence paediatric pulse oximeters are used to monitor the blood oxygen levels for children and infants.

Some pulse oximeters come with an alarm when the pulse rate or oxygen saturation level goes below the safe range. Some of these pulse oximeters even have an anti-motion feature, which will help you get an accurate result, despite the child moving his/her hand.

Pulse Oximeter Buyer’s Guide

Here are few things that you should keep in mind while looking to buy a pulse oximeter.

Accuracy and Reliability

The very first thing that one should look for while purchasing a pulse oximeter is its accuracy and reliability.

The primary purpose of a pulse oximeter is to measure your blood oxygen level and pulse rate. The key is to find a pulse oximeter that can produce accurate results consistently and reliably.

Most pulse oximeters use the same mechanism to produce readings, and the only difference lies in the way they are manufactured. Unfortunately, the only way to check whether a pulse oximeter is accurate or not is by cross-checking the results it produces with another one, such as one at your doctor’s office or other medical clinics.

Most oximeters should be capable of producing results within a few seconds with an accuracy of ±3%.

Accuracy of the oximeter is affected by motion. So, if your hand trembles, find an oximeter that has an anti-motion feature, which will still be able to produce accurate results.

Ease of Use

A pulse oximeter should be easy to use and should not need much technical or special knowledge.

Finger oximeters are very easy to use, and they involve just clipping the oximeter on your finger and pressing a button, and voila, there is your result on the screen. Also, a large screen will make life easier, enabling easy reading of the results.

Some oximeters even display the results in a different way making them easier to read and understand. All these are added benefits that will make it a lot easier to use a pulse oximeter. And that’s the way a pulse oximeter should be- easy to use.

Size of Probe

Check the size of the probe while purchasing a pulse oximeter and ensure that the probe fits on your finger snugly and comfortably. This is generally not an issue with the clip-on type of probes, where the probe can simply be clipped on to the finger without any fuss.

If you are looking to check the saturation oxygen for kids and infants, or even people with smaller hands or fingers, you could consider buying a paediatric pulse oximeter, which would be more suitable for that application.

Other Features

Some other features that could be an added bonus are features such as memory for storage of data and multi-person memory wherein data for more than one person can be stored.

Other features could include Bluetooth connectivity or USB connectivity to transfer data to a system, where it can analysed further.

Some oximeters are even capable of sending real-time data to your doctor which could be very beneficial.

Short cables which would not create much of a nuisance would definitely help. An oximeter which is not very bulky and portable would come in handy and can be easily stored as well.

Some pulse oximeters are even capable of generating other statistics such as a plethysmograph and perfusion index, which could also help in getting a better diagnosis.

Top 10 Pulse Oximeters

1. Newnik Fingertip Pulse Oximeter PX701 (Editor’s Choice)

Newnik PX701

Newnik’s fingertip pulse oximeter is one of the best oximeters available in the market, designed to give quick, accurate and reliable readings of blood oxygen level and pulse rate.

It is a FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and CE (European Conformity) certified oximeter and comes with a one year warranty.

Features:

  • Gives quick and accurate readings of blood oxygen saturation and pulse rate, along with profusion index and plethysmograph.
  • FDA and CE certified.
  • Comes with a one year warranty.

Pros:

  • Comes with an audio as well as visual alarm.
  • Has a high accuracy of ±2%.
  • Has anti-motion feature, enabling it to produce accurate readings even during motion.
  • Water resistant.
  • Suitable for both adults and kids.
  • Auto on and off feature automatically switches it on and off when finger is inserted or removed.

Cons:

  • No cons that will make a significant difference.

 

2. Life Plus Pulse Oximeter LPM-101

Life Plus LPM-101

Life Plus provides a simple way of checking your saturation oxygen and pulse rate by using their fingertip oximeter, LPM-101.

This pulse oximeter is suitable for use at hospitals, diagnostic centres and at homes as well. They produce accurate and reliable readings and is a CE approved and ISO registered product.

Features:

  • 2 color OLED display, with 6 display modes.
  • Displays accurate readings of pulse rate and saturation oxygen along with pulse bar and plethysmograph.
  • Comes with a one year warranty.

Pros:

  • Has visual and audio alarms.
  • Has anti-motion feature.
  • Has power saving mode as well.
  • Has auto on and off feature.
  • Can be used with adults as well as kids.

Cons:

  • Not a con really, but has a relatively lower accuracy of ±3% when compared to the Newnik PX-701

 

3. Easy Care Fingertip Pulse Oximeter

Easy Care Finger Pulse Oximeter

This pulse oximeter by Easy Care is known for its compactness, light weight design and uncompromisingly accurate and reliable results.

This oximeter, along with the pulse rate and saturation oxygen levels, also shows the profusion index, pulse bar and plethysmograph.

It is suitable for usage in hospitals, homes and medical treatment centers.

Features:

  • Displays perfusion index, pulse bar and plethysmograph along with accurate readings of pulse rate and saturation oxygen.
  • Has a dual color OLED display with 6 display modes.
  • Comes with a one year warranty.

Pros:

  • Has audio visual alarms to warn people when parameters drop below the safe range.
  • Low power consumption enables it to work continuously for more than 30 hours.
  • Splash resistant.
  • OLED screen comes with adjustable brightness.
  • Compact, light-weight design makes it very handy and portable.
  • Has auto off feature which switches it off once finger has been removed.

Cons:

  • Not suitable for kids.

 

4. Dr. Morepen PO-04

Dr. Morepen PO-04

Dr. Morepen’s PO-04 pulse oximeter is capable of producing accurate readings almost instantaneously.

This pulse oximeter is suitable for both adults and kids as well.

The dual colour OLED display comes in 6 display modes, and displays both pulse rate and oxygen saturation.

Features:

  • Gives quick and accurate readings of both saturation oxygen and pulse rate.
  • Comes with a one year warranty.
  • Has a dual color OLED display with 6 display modes.
  • Auto power off feature enables it to switch off on its own when not in use.

Pros:

  • ABS plastic and anti-shock feature ensure that it is capable of producing accurate results even after minor falls.
  • Capable of working up to 30 hours continuously.
  • Light and compact.

Cons:

  • No alarm included.

 

5. VKare Fingertip Pulse Oximeter

VKare Finger Pulse Oximeter

VKare’s fingertip pulse oximeter is a small, compact, simple, reliable and durable oximeter capable of producing accurate readings with ease.

It is easy to use and can be used by almost anyone, and is widely used in clinics, hospitals, medical facilities and home care centres.

Features:

  • Displays accurate readings of saturation oxygen and pulse rate.
  • Has a LED screen with a four directional rotational system.
  • Comes with a one year warranty.

Pros:

  • Has a low saturation oxygen alarm which rings when saturation oxygen is below the safe level.
  • Easy to use and operate.
  • Compact, light weight, portable and durable.
  • Long battery life.

Cons:

  • No anti-motion feature.

 

6. Niscomed FPO-50 Pulse Oximeter

Niscomed FPO-50

Niscomed FPO-50 is a finger pulse oximeter capable of producing quick and accurate readings of saturation oxygen and pulse rate with an accuracy of ±2%.

It has a dual colour OLED screen with 6 display modes which comes with a wider viewing angle, making it easy and clear to view from any angle.

Features:

  • Displays saturation oxygen, pulse rate, nd plethysmograph.
  • Dual colour OLED screen with 6 display modes.
  • Comes with a one year warranty.

Pros:

  • Has high accuracy of ±2%.
  • Comes with automatic power off feature.
  • OLED screen has 6 display modes and comes with adjustable brightness.

Cons:

  • No audio visual alarms.
  • No anti-motion feature.

 

7. ChoiceMMed MD300C15D

ChoiceMMed MD300C15D

This pulse oximeter comes from the OxyWatch series of pulse oximeters by ChoiceMMed which is an American health care company.

This pulse oximeter has a small and lightweight and is capable of producing accurate pulse rate and saturation oxygen level readings.

Features:

  • Produces accurate pulse rate and saturation oxygen level readings.
  • Has a two-year warranty.
  • Has an LCD screen display which displays the pulse rate and saturation oxygen along with a pulse bar.

Pros:

  • Compact and lightweight design.
  • Low power consumption.
  • Has auto power off feature.
  • Produces reliable saturation oxygen and pulse rate readings.
  • Suitable for both adults and kids.

Cons:

  • No alarms included.
  • No backlight on the LCD screen makes it difficult to read the results.

 

8. Neclife Dr. Trust Finger Pulse Oximeter DR-50D

Neclife DR-50D

Neclife’s DR-50D pulse oximeter is a portable and easy to use device that can be used to check pulse rate and saturation oxygen even in professional environments.

It has a dual core OLED display that displays pulse rate and saturation oxygen along with a bar graph and pulse waveform display.

It is widely used in clinics, hospitals and first aid kits.

Features:

  • Dual core OLED display, displays saturation oxygen and pulse rate.
  • Comes with a one year warranty.

Pros:

  • Compact, reliable and durable.
  • Has automatic power off feature.
  • Easy to use and portable.

Cons:

  • No alarms included.
  • Not very rugged or robust and has to be handled with care.

 

9. ChoiceMMed MD300C2

ChoiceMMed MD300C2

The MD300C2 is simple, easy to use pulse oximeter from ChoiceMMed designed to produce accurate readings of saturation oxygen and pulse rate.

It is very simple to use and fits most adults without any problems. It is small and compact, which makes it very portable and handy.

It is widely used in clinics and hospitals as well as a homes.

Features:

  • Displays saturation oxygen, pulse rate along with pulse bar and waveform.
  • Dual color OLED display.

Pros:

  • Small, compact, reliable and durable.
  • Low power consumption.
  • Has auto power off feature.

Cons:

  • Not suitable for kids.
  • No alarms included.
  • No warranty included.

 

10. Oxy99 Fingertip Pulse Oximeter

Oxy99 Finger Pulse Oximeter

This easy to use, portable finger pulse oximeter comes from Oxy99 which is a leading pharma company.

A giant in providing portable oxygen cylinders, Oxy99 has now come up with a device to monitor your blood oxygen levels as well.

This oximeter is a very simple to use oximeter which produces very accurate readings with a high degree of reliability as well.

Features:

  • Dual OLED display with six display modes.
  • Produces accurate readings of saturation oxygen and pulse rate.

Pros:

  • High accuracy of ±2%.
  • Low power consumption.

Cons:

  • No warranty included.
  • No alarms included.

 

Conclusion

While buying an oximeter, it is essential to consider the application and the field where it has to be used.

If you are looking for something to just help you monitor your saturation oxygen, a finger pulse oximeter should suffice.

But if you are looking for something to be used in a hospital in critical wards, you should look for something more sophisticated like a table top pulse oximeter.

However, if I had to suggest, I would go with Newnik Fingertip Pulse Oximeter PX701 for the sole reason that it carries no significant cons with itself and is an overall good product.

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