#HealthBytes: Factors to consider before buying a pulse oximeter
With increasing number of COVID-19 cases and many patients being advised home isolation, keeping a stock of essential healthcare devices for emergencies is mandatory. One such device is an oximeter, that monitors the patient's oxygen saturation levels (SpO2). Naturally, choosing the right oximeter is imperative to get accurate readings. Here, we cover the important aspects to consider while choosing a pulse oximeter.
A fingertip pulse oximeter is easy to use at home
Pulse oximeters are of three types: Fingertip oximeter, handheld oximeter and fetal oximeter. Between the three options, the fingertip pulse oximeter is the best choice for patients who are self-monitoring as they are small, flexible and easy to store. To know the SpO2 values, the oximeter should be clipped to one of the fingers and the readings can be noted after a minute.
Essential parameters to look out for in the oximeter
With many brands in the market, it can get confusing as to what factors should be considered when it comes to choosing the right oximeter. To ensure that the device is of good medical standards, it is important to check for certifications from organizations like FDA and CE. In addition, the fingertip pulse oximeter must have a bright display that clearly shows the readings.
Check for accuracy of the oximeter by comparing two values
Accuracy is a key factor when it comes to pulse oximeters as incorrect SpO2 values may cause unnecessary worries. If you are buying one from a store, you can check the accuracy by comparing the readings of two oximeters and see if the outcomes are similar. For online purchases, it is best to rely on the reviews of the brand and product.
Durability and price are other factors to keep in mind
It is always a good idea to invest in durable pulse oximeters that last several years. There are many brands in the market that offer a warranty of up to five years, making it a good investment for the buyer. Fingertip pulse oximeters are priced between Rs. 1,000-5,000 in India. The pricing is dependant on factors like battery backup, ergonomics, material etc.