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Things to know about pulse oximeter



by the US Food and Drug Administration, newsletter, November 2020

Things to know about pulse oximeter

(HealthDay) —If you use oxygen concentrators and pulse oximeters at home, it is important to use them correctly, says the US Food and Drug Administration.

Conditions like asthma, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, flu, and COVID-1

9 can all cause the amount of oxygen in the body to drop. When levels are too low, oxygen therapy may be required to boost them.

One way to get more oxygen into the body is to use a prescription medical device called an oxygen concentrator.

However, giving yourself too much or too little oxygen can be dangerous, so it’s important to talk to your doctor and get a prescription before buying an oxygen concentrator for home use, the FDA advises in a press release.

The FDA offers tips for using oxygen generators safely at home:

  • Do not use it or any other oxygen product near an open flame or while smoking.
  • Place the concentrator in an open space to reduce the risk of equipment failure due to overheating.
  • Do not block any vents on the concentrator as it may affect the performance of the device.
  • Periodically check your device for any alarms to make sure you are getting enough oxygen.
  • Do not arbitrarily change the oxygen level provided by the device. Consult with your medical provider.

Oxygen concentration is monitored by a small device called a pulse oximeter, which is placed on your finger, toe or forehead.

When using a pulse oximeter, the FDA says you should:

  • Sit still and do not move your body part in place of the pulse oximeter.
  • Do not use the device on hand when your hands are cold.
  • Remove nail polish if using the device on hand.

Don’t rely solely on a pulse oximeter. It is important to keep track of your symptoms and feelings. Contact your doctor if your symptoms are severe or get worse.

If you are using a pulse oximeter to monitor your oxygen levels and are concerned about measurement results, the FDA says, contact your healthcare provider.


Virtual Ward: Taking care of patients with COVID-19 at home can save lives


More information:
To learn more about oxygen therapy, visit the American Lung Association.

Provided by the US Food and Drug Administration, newsletter November 2020

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Quote: Things to know about pulse oximeters (2020, November 6) retrieved November 8, 2020 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-11-pulse-oximeters.html

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