Fingertip Oximeters

Pulse oximeters are inexpensive and very easy to use as a tool for families at home. Because the rehabilitation and learning in the brain is heavily dependent on oxygen being available, it is crucial to do everything to maximize oxygen delivery to the brain. The pulse oximeter gives us information about whether we are oxygenating as needed. It also easily picks up on decreases in oxygenation during daily activities, learning, and sleep; decreases that can alter brain and body function or create problems that need to be corrected.

How does a pulse oximeter work? It uses an infrared light source to calculate or measure how much of the hemoglobin in our red blood cells is saturated with oxygen. Our blood contains red blood cells that have what is called hemoglobin in each cell. The hemoglobin has four sites where it can retain an oxygen molecule. Pulse oximeters can check how much hemoglobin is saturated with oxygen and get a number referred to as saturation percentages. Normal oxygen saturation for most of us is 98 to 100%. In healthcare, 94% and above is considered normal.