You may have seen a ‘a £20 gadget that could save lives’ on the news over the weekend.
BBC report https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-55733527
We just wanted to go through what they are and are they worth buying.
What does a Pulse Oximeter do?
This gadget slips onto your finger and shines a light though into the finger. It measures how much of the light is absorbed in order to calculate oxygen levels in the blood. It also measures your pulse.
Why is it important to know how much oxygen is in the blood?
A healthy adult should have between 94% and 100% oxygen saturation in your blood. Simply put, if it’s below this there is a problem which is called hypoxia. With a medical condition like COVID-19 the damage caused to the lungs can affect the amount of oxygen bought into the body. A pulse oximeter can monitor this.
Are they easy to use?
Yes – you don’t need any training, read the instructions and away you go.
Are they worth £20?
Yes – I have one in my laptop bag and one in my responder bag. I can pop this on the patients finger and it takes their pulse for me and also I know instantly if there is an issue with their Oxygen levels. If they drop to 92% I know that the patient will usually need an ambulance or taking to A&E.
For the money they are a great addition to your first aid kit – especially when you come onto one of our first aid courses!