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Pulse Oximeter Fingertip :

What is pulse Oximeter? Well, Pulse oximeter is a device that measures the saturation of oxygen level in a person's red blood cell. For most people who are healthy their oxygen saturation is 100 percent. Most devices will clip onto the finger. Pulse oximetry is a painless test. It can promptly detect minor changes in how accurately oxygen is being moved to the terminus furthest from the heart. The pulse meter is a small lightweight device. They work by measuring the amount of light transmitted or reflected to the skin to different wavelengths and then they calculate mathematical algorithms to estimate the oxygen level in the blood.

The purpose of pulse oximeter:

The goal of pulse oximetry is to analyze how good your heart is pumping via your body. Pulse oximeter is always used in hospitals and sometimes used in home people who have underlying health conditions. 

Pulse oximeter is not effective as an early indicator for COVID-19 infection. 

The COVID-19 low oxygen levels are a late indicator for COVID-19 pneumonia. Unless someone is feeling ill or shortness of breath, pulse oximeters could be helpful to use.

There are some scenarios that might be useful to use pulse oximeter

  • You already have or recently have had low oxygen levels either due to an  underlying heart or lung condition or possibly a recent infections such as pneumonia

  • You have symptoms that are concerning for COvid especially like fever, cough, body aches shortness of breath

  • You already tested positive for Covid 19 and you're recovering at home

Some other health conditions can be monitored with pulse oximeter 

  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

  • Asthma

  • Pneumonia

  • Lung cancer

  • Anemia

  • Heart attack or heart failure

  • Congenital heart defects


There are some scenarios that can give false reading ……

  • Nail polish

  • Artificial nails

  • Nails that are too long that affect the placement of the pulse oximeter in the finger

  • Cold hands

  • Poor circulation

  • Having high lipids in blood

  • Light in the environment 

All of these can give falsely low reading in the pulse oximeter. These are unimportant reasons to seek medical attention due to the Pandemic. Because health workers are already packed with a large number of patients.

During a pulse oximetry reading, a small clamp-like device is placed on a finger, or earlobe, or toe. Many small beams of light pass through the blood in the finger, measuring the amount of the oxygen. It does this by the measuring changes of the light absorption in oxygenated or deoxygenated blood. It is a painless process.


Some people use smartphone pulse oximetry technology to check their Red blood cell. Compared to the device the smartphone is not as accurate as it needs to be. Pulse oximeter is generally an authentic test. It provides approximately within a two percent inequality either way of what is accurate. For Instance if the reading is 82 percent while your normal oxygen saturation level is 80 to 82 percent it can be due to  temperature . In that case you're good, no need to panic. Generally more than 89 percent should be effective in carrying oxygen. This keeps your body and cell healthy. However below that number can cause damage, or consistent instances of lower oxygen saturation may be injurious. On the other hand when the oxygen saturation level is 95 percent it counts as healthy individuals.  Meanwhile when the oxygen level is 92 percent it points at potential hypoxemia . It's a sign of a breathing problem which causes shortness of breath.

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