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Pediatric Pulse Oximeter

by vincentgillbert

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Children are the most precious individuals in your life. Their health is of the utmost importance and the ability to monitor their health is very important to parents. Children can experience and live with a variety of health conditions and issues including asthma. Asthma is a very common condition among children ranging from different ages. What makes it particularly hard for parents is the fact that they really cannot tell whether their child with asthma is getting enough oxygen before it’s too late. The only time the parents are able to see if their child is getting enough oxygen is unfortunately when the child is experiencing an asthma attack. A device exists however that provides parents with the power to monitor the health of their children anywhere they go. A Pulse oximeter is a health and medical device that measures pulse rate and blood oxygen saturation within seconds. The device utilizes the latest technology whereby it is able to measure the percentage of oxygen in hemoglobin and thus give an output this percentage on the device for the parents to see. The parents are able to take this device wherever they go with their children and if they desire to know the oxygen levels of their child they simply place the device on the finger of the individual and within seconds they get a reading of the SpO2 levels. When the parents see this level they can then determine whether their child is getting enough oxygen to exercise or whether they may be in need of supplemental oxygen.


What makes a Pediatric pulse oximeter different from the other forms of pulse oximeter devices is the way that it is specifically manufactured. Regular pulse oximeter devices are made for adults and their adult size anatomical features including their fingers. As the oximeter works by inserting your finger inside the device to get your pulse rate and oxygen levels the size of the finger is very critical to the accuracy and measuring of the device. For children, naturally they have a smaller anatomical feature such as a finger. Their fingers are small and as such the pulse oximeter has to be able to fit their small fingers and provide a snug fit that will then translate into accurate pulse rate and blood oxygen saturation readings. If an adult oximeter is used on a child the most likely effect is that the readings will be sporadic and in fact incorrect because the adult portable oximeters are intended for the fingers of adults. With the advent of the new pediatric pulse oximeters that are highly portable, parents can rest assured that they can easily take the device wherever they desire to go in order to monitor their child.


Pulse oximetry is routinely used in the emergency department, the pediatric ward, and in pediatric intensive and perioperative care. However, clinically relevant principles and inherent limitations of the method are not always well understood by health care professionals caring for children.


Additional technologic advancements in pulse oximetry and its incorporation into evidence-based clinical algorithms will improve the efficiency of the method in daily pediatric practice.


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