As there are dozens of available models in the market, selecting the best pulse oximeter can be difficult. Reading independent pulse oximeter reviews can help in your selection process as they can give you an idea on the various features offered by different models. You may want to note how a particular model takes measurements, exactly how it works, and what other features it offers.
Basically, there are three types of pulse oximeters – handheld, stationary, and fingertip models. Hospitals are the primary users of the stationary models which form part of their vast arsenal of patient monitoring equipment and devices. It is therefore not necessary to discuss this type in detail in this article. Focus will instead be on handheld and fingertip pulse oximeter models.
Handheld and Fingertip Types of Pulse Oximeters
Handheld Pulse Oximeters – This type normally consists of a finger probe and a base unit. Having a base unit allows for more versatility as various types of finger probes can be used with the device. It allows for easy swapping based on the required attachment which may be for infants, adults, for one time use, and others. When being used in places where the patient has limited mobility, the base unit can securely be placed somewhere away from the user.
Based on pulse oximeter reviews, the handheld models preferred by users feature a memory to record the measurements, ability to print to paper, large backlit screen display, AC and DC dual power support, and connectivity to PC for data downloading. Not all handheld models have all these features, though. It is important to determine which specific features you need so you can look for them in the units you will be evaluating.
Fingertip Pulse Oximeters – Because of the comparatively bigger size of handheld models, they may have limited effectiveness for some particular applications. For such cases, the use of a smaller-sized model such as a fingertip pulse oximeter may be more appropriate. The compact model incorporates the power supply, display, and board circuitry into the finger probe. Despite its small stature, it has all the necessary components to get a patient’s pulse rate reading and oxygen saturation level. It is the ideal equipment for specific situations where portability is of critical importance.
Most fingertip pulse oximeter models feature a simple one-button operation designs. All you have to do is to insert a finger, press the button, and then proceed. In just a matter of seconds, you will have the reading displayed onscreen. This conveniently portable nature of this model makes it a very popular unit of choice among paramedics, doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals who are often moving about.
The fingertip models also come in the non-prescription variety. According to pulse oximeter reviews, they can be extensively used even by athletes, mountain climbers, pilots and other individuals who are engaged in activities that require regular monitoring of blood oxygen levels. Although the display on this particular oximeter type is limited because of its relatively smaller size, there are models that come with organic LED displays and backlighting that considerably enhances readability even under adverse lighting conditions.