Advantages of Pulse Oximeter | disadvantages of Pulse Oximeter

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of Pulse Oximeter or pulse oximetry. It mentions Pulse Oximeter advantages or benefits and Pulse Oximeter disadvantages or drawbacks.

As we know human beings depend on oxygen. All organs need oxygen for metabolism. Shortage of oxygen in the body is known as "Hypoxia". There are various factors which reduces oxygen delivery to the tissues. This if not managed properly could lead to injury or death.

A pulse oximeter is a device which measures SpO2 and pulse rate in number of beats per minute.It also displays waveform detected by sensor. It is connected to the patient using probe. It consists of monitor with display, microprocessor, batteries and probe to sense the pulse.

Pulse Oximeter

Following are the two parameters measured by the pulse oximeter.
• SpO2 - Oxygen saturation of haemoglobin in arterial blood.
• Pulse rate - in beats per minute which is averaged over 5 to 20 seconds

Benefits or advantages of Pulse Oximeter

Following are the benefits or advantages of Pulse Oximeter:
➨Pulse oximeter is used as an early warning device. It continuously measures level of oxygen saturation of haemoglobin in the artetial blood. It can detect hypoxia much sooner compare to anaesthesia provider can provides clinical signs of hypoxia e.g. cyanosis. Hence pulse oximeter or pulse oximetry has become essential for safe anaesthesia.
➨It provides audible beep or alarm in case of non-compliance of results, which is very much user friendly. Due to this user need not have to monitor the display continuously all the time.

Drawbacks or disadvantages of Pulse Oximeter

Following are the disadvantages of Pulse Oximeter:
➨The device is delicate.
➨It is sensitive to rough handling.
➨It is sensitive to excessive heat.
➨It can be damaged by spilling fluids which needs to be taken care cautiously.
➨It works on battery and hence needs to be connected to electric supply for charging the battery.
➨Probes are designed for use on the finger, toe or ear lobe.

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