Written by: Lifestyle

Why You Should Keep a Pulse Oximeter in Your Home

Many people have first aid kits in their home but aren’t sure exactly what to keep in them. Learn why you should have a pulse oximeter in your home now.

Why You Should Keep a Pulse Oximeter in Your Home

For many people, the standard first aid kit includes bandages, gauze, an alcohol swab or two, and that’s it. While those supplies work great in a minor emergency like a cut from a fall, they won’t help much if someone needs more serious medical attention. You should always seek out a professional for serious injuries, but being able to provide extra information on someone’s medical status, such as their blood oxygen level, can help. A pulse oximeter reads blood oxygen levels and is a great tool to have on hand in an emergency. Keep reading to learn why you should keep a pulse oximeter in your home.

Watch Blood Oxygen Levels

This is the obvious reasons to keep a pulse oximeter in your home. If someone in your household has lung or heart problems, then watching their blood oxygen levels is an important part of daily life. If the blood oxygen level reaches dangerous levels, then you’ll know that this person needs medical attention.

But what about people without lung or heart problems? Even then, it’s a good idea to have a pulse oximeter around. There are various illnesses and viruses that can cause breathing problems, like pneumonia and COVID-19, so having a way to check blood oxygen levels when someone is sick will help you determine next steps. And if you have any visitors with heart or lung problems who want to check their levels, you can quickly pull out this handy device to put their mind at rest.

Ideal Blood Oxygen Levels

There’s a lot you need to know about blood oxygen levels and saturation when reading a pulse oximeter. Healthy people should have a blood oxygen level of 95–97 percent. However, pulse oximeters aren’t always accurate and can be up to 4 percent off. That means if a healthy person is breathing normally and their blood oxygen is within 4 percent of a normal range, then you don’t need to worry unless they’re having other symptoms.

Symptoms of Low Blood Oxygen

Now that you know what blood oxygen levels should be, you need to know the symptoms to look out for in case something’s wrong. This will tell you when to pull out your pulse oximeter and check the person in question. Low blood oxygen, also called hypoxemia, often shows itself in breathing difficulties like shortness of breath, headaches, and a bluish color in the skin. When checking someone for bluish skin, watch around the eyes, lips, and nails, as it’s easier to spot color changes in these areas, especially in people of color.

You should keep a pulse oximeter in your home so you can keep monitor blood oxygen levels, whether the person has a preexisting condition or is sick with an illness that affects their breathing. Knowing what blood oxygen levels should be and the symptoms of low blood oxygen go hand-in-hand with keeping a pulse oximeter in your home. If you’re going to own this device, you need to know how to properly use it and when.

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Last modified: August 12, 2022