Oxygen saturation is a measure of the level of oxygen in an individual’s blood. The measurement can be taken easily with a pulse oximeter, which is a device that measures oxygen levels by attaching to the end of the finger. In this article, we will explore the importance and proper use of pulse oximeters, as well as what readings indicate.
Measuring Oxygen Saturation
Pulse oximeters are simple and non-invasive devices that can quickly detect low blood oxygen levels. It is essential that pulse oximeters are available in all areas where they may be needed for use. To ensure accurate results, it’s important to follow these steps when measuring oxygen saturation:
- Ensure the pulse oximeter is clean and in working order
- Gain consent from person being tested and explain the process
- Select appropriate finger for probe and attach it
- Ask person to rest hand while oximeter takes reading
- Record result, noting if person is breathing normal room air or on oxygen therapy
- Repeat process if necessary
Normal Oxygen Saturation Range
A normal range for oxygen saturation should read 96% or higher. Those with lung conditions such as COPD may have lower readings between 88-92%. Any medical conditions should be noted in medical records.
Factors Affecting Accuracy
Several factors can affect accuracy when using a pulse oximeter:
- Cold hands, dehydration, or a dirty probe can make it difficult to get an accurate reading.
- Nail varnish or false nails may also affect reading.
- remove varnish or nails if necessary or consult with senior colleague for advice.
Using a pulse oximeter to measure oxygen saturation is quick and easy way to identify low blood oxygen levels. It’s important to follow proper procedure and take note of any factors that may interfere with accurate readings. If you have any questions about using a pulse oximeter speak to your manager or senior colleague.
What is oxygen saturation?
Oxygen saturation refers to the level of oxygen in a person's blood. It is a crucial measurement that can indicate the health of a person's lungs and overall well-being.
How is oxygen saturation measured?
Oxygen saturation is measured using a device called a pulse oximeter. A probe is placed on the end of a person's finger, and the device measures the oxygen level as a percentage.
What is a normal oxygen saturation range?
A normal oxygen saturation range is 96% or higher. However, some individuals, such as those with lung conditions, may have a lower level of oxygen in their blood.
What factors can affect the accuracy of a pulse oximeter reading?
Factors that can affect the accuracy of a pulse oximeter reading include cold hands, dehydration, a dirty probe, nail varnish, and false nails.
Who should I contact if I have questions about using a pulse oximeter?
If you have any questions about using a pulse oximeter, speak to your manager or a senior colleague. They will be able to provide guidance and answer any questions you may have.