Pulse oximetry is a technique to measure an individual’s oxygen saturation level in blood. The device that is used for this purpose is called a pulse oximeter. It is a small device that can easily be clipped to a finger and can detect the amount of oxygen in the blood. And the chart that tells us the information about the oxygen levels is called a pulse oximeter readings chart. Let us discuss what it is and how it is used in detail.
Download Print-Ready Oximeter Log Templates for MS Word
On this page, you can download some beautifully laid out Oximeter Log Templates formatted in Microsoft Word to create a record of your patient’s oxygen level in the blood. These are very easy-to-use formats that you can not only easily fill in the information but can also print easily on paper.
What is a pulse oximeter reading chart and what does it look like?
A pulse oximeter reading chart is a table, generally, of four columns and four rows that we can utilize to know about the levels of oxygen in our blood and compare it with an individual’s reading. It has the following information displayed on it.
Observations – categorized into four groups which are normal, acceptable, seek advice from a medical expert, and need urgent medical help
Oxygen saturation level (SpO2 %) – the observations are categorized on the basis of oxygen levels in the blood
Pulse rate (bpm)
For what purpose do doctors use pulse oximeter reading charts?
The reading chart helps the doctors compare the values obtained while monitoring the patient. However, it can be helpful in other situations as well such as:
Monitor patients’ oxygen levels for conditions that require monitoring of oxygen levels such as pulmonary diseases, heart-related conditions, asthma, anemia, pneumonia, COVID-19, etc.
Record oxygen levels before and after surgery – to monitor the influence of anesthesia
Determine if a patient needs supplemental oxygen and how effective it is
Evaluate the working of new lung medications
Determine if a ventilator is helpful
It is used in sleep studies – to diagnose conditions like sleep apnea
To determine the tolerance of physical activity in a patient
How to use a pulse oximeter to obtain readings and compare them with the reading chart?
The pulse oximeter is a small device. It is painless to use and can also be used at home with ease.
It is super easy to measure the blood oxygen level with it – and that too within seconds.
First thing first, in order to measure your oxygen level with it, you need to remove any jewelry or nail paint you might be wearing on your finger since the device will be clipped to your finger.
Clip the device on your finger but you can also clip it on your toe or earlobe.
The device will then measure the pulse and amount of oxygen in your blood. Once that is done note the reading and then remove it from your finger.
Now compare your reading with the levels of oxygen described in the chart to determine if it is normal or if medical help is needed.
What information does the reading chart give?
Determines if the patient is at risk
Normal and critical values of oxygen saturation in the blood