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Benefits and Uses of Pulse Oximetry

Benefits and Uses of Pulse Oximetry

The organs in the body system require oxygen for their survival, and the human body moves oxygen to these organs by passing it through the lungs. When there is a lack or shortage of oxygen in the body, the cells will start malfunctioning; if there is no quick supply of oxygen, the cells will eventually die. The death of these cells can lead to failure of the body’s organs. The oxygen filtered through the lugs are distributed into the blood by the haemoglobin protein contained in the red blood cells. The rest of the body gets the needed amount of oxygen from these proteins.



To keep a healthy cell and organs of the body, the percentage of oxygenated haemoglobin in the human system should be maintained, and the usual levels of saturated oxygen in the body are between 95% and 100%. A tool that is used to measure these oxygenated haemoglobins is what is called a pulse oximeter. This tool estimates the percentage of oxygen saturation in the body by shining a light via an area of the skin that is relatively transparent. This light passes through the body on to a detector that is usually stationed on the opposite of the body.

It is imperative to know that certain medical conditions cause a drop in the oxygen saturation level of the human system. Some of the states include allergic reactions, sleep apnea, drowning and general anaesthesia. Other conditions include choking, inhaling of certain chemicals, suffocation, pneumonia, lung cancer, heart failure, and emphysema. People suffering from these conditions have higher chances of experiencing a reduction in their body’s level of oxygenated haemoglobin. It is right to say that individuals with cardiovascular diseases, certain infections as mentioned earlier as well as newborn infants benefit more from pulse oximetry.

More often, a pulse oximeter is clipped onto an individual’s finger, one of the clip acts as the source of the light, while the other side is the detector. The result is originated by the amount of blood absorbed by the light which indicates the level of the oxygen saturation of the body. The actual result is not the direct reading on the instrument, but it’s gotten through an equation and data used to ascertain the level of the oxygen saturation in the body. A pulse oximeter can be useful in the following situations, for observing the degree of oxygen saturation over a specific time, ascertaining the requirement for supplemental oxygen as well as signalling alarming low levels of oxygen, especially in infants. Another use of a pulse oximeter is for observing the concentration of oxygen in individuals under anaesthesia.

Though pulse oximetry is useful, however, it shouldn’t be used as a substitute for other forms of monitoring oxygen level of the body. The reason for this assertion is because more often than not, pulse oximetry doesn’t give results for all oxygen related issues in the body hence it shouldn’t be used as a sense of security. It is essential that individuals should discuss the level of risk involved with a professional, and they should also maintain more regular readings over a particular time.

It’s never too late, before addressing any issue related to your smile, gums, teeth, and other oral or in general health issues, consult with Dr. Jean-Jacques Edderai. A dental prophylaxis or cleaning as previously mentioned including our check-up every three to four months will allow Dr. Edderai to keep a watchful eye on your oral health and prevent cavities or minor problem before they start. For answers to some of the most commonly asked questions, visit my FAQ page at

Remember the best advice from your Dentist “Unaddressed issues will never get resolved by themselves”.