Bhubaneswar: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has recently stressed on the need to self-monitor one’s health at home advising persons to check body temperature and take oxygen readings on pulse oximeters on a regular basis.
In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, people can use Pulse Oximeter by clipping it on their fingertip, toe or ear lobe to detect the flow of oxygen and give doctors essential information without leaving their homes.
How You Can Use The Pulse Oximeter:
1. You should wash your hands and make sure to completely dry the hands before using the oximeter.
2. Remove any nail varnish or polish on the finger as the colour can absorb light emitted by the oximeter and interfere with the detection of oxygenated haemoglobin. In case of emergency, you can place the clip sideways or use another site.
3. Avoid exposing the oximeter to bright light when it is in use. Bright light such as sunlight or the operating light on the probe may interfere with the light detector and cause inaccuracy.
4. Make sure that your hands are warm. Since the oximeter needs blood for a proper test, cold hands can lead to an inaccurate reading. Rub your hands together to warm them up and stimulate blood flow.
5. Stay still while the oximeter is working. Movement can result in abnormal or inaccurate reading and cause confusion.
6. Clamp the probe onto the index finger and make sure the probe is well positioned on the finger. It fits well and the probe is not too tight (which
would constrict the circulation) or too loose (may fall off or let other light in).
7. Rest your hand on the chest at heart level to minimize motion and ensure that a good supply of blood will get to the finger.
How To Check The Reading And Subsequent Procedure:
1. If you are concerned whether an oximeter is working correctly put the probe on your own finger and check if it is working.
2. Oximeters need a flow of blood through the finger to function. Some oximeters give an indication of the blood flow detected.
3. The oximeter should display reading within 5-10 seconds. If the model measures pulse, it may take a little longer.
4. If the device fails to display a reading, you should try removing it and placing it back on the finger. If this doesn’t work, check if the machine has fresh batteries.
5. Contact your doctor if your oxygen reading is low. A normal oxygen saturation reading is 95% or above. Reading between 92-94% indicates there may be a problem and lower reading could be an emergency.
How To Care For Your Oximeter:
1. Keep the battery charged at all times as in case of an emergency you can use it right away.
2. Store your oximeter in a safe place so that it won’t get knocked over or get damaged from spillages.
3. Clean the probe section of the oximeter gently with a damp cloth or paper towel. You can use and alcohol swab to kill bacteria and viruses.
4. When connecting your probe, or the lead, always insert the plug correctly. Check carefully to avoid damage.
5. When disconnecting and connecting probe, grip the plug firmly and not the cable. If the cable is pulled, small wires inside will break.