Q: Why are oximeters sold out at most retailers?
A: Oximeters quickly, non-invasively, and painlessly measure the saturation of oxygen in your blood. COVID-19 can bring on what's called COVID pneumonia — an infection in which the lung's air sacs fill with fluid or pus. And it's possible that someone infected with the novel coronavirus might be in the early stages of COVID pneumonia – including a drop in blood oxygen level — without experiencing any difficulty breathing. In such cases, a pulse oximeter may signal that you're in trouble before you realize it. To be clear, an oximeter on its own should not be relied upon for a medical diagnosis, but coupled with consulting your doctor, it can be a valuable tool. For a full and balanced understanding - please read here: Source: www.npr.org The Cleveland Clinic and many other leading hospitals use pulse oximeters as one important tool for monitoring COVID-19 patients from home: Source: consultqd.clevelandclinic.org
Q: How does it work?
A: A pulse oximeter is a small electronic device that quickly, non-invasively, and painlessly measures the saturation of oxygen in your blood. To measure that percentage, the device gently clamps onto your finger and passes different wavelengths of light through your finger's small capillaries. For a very detailed explanation - please read here: Source: medicine.uiowa.edu In addition to reading the saturation of oxygen in your blood, the device also measures your pulse rate.
Q: What reading am I looking for?
A: You want an oxygen saturation number in the 95% to 100% range. If the number drops to 92% or lower, that's a cause for concern (especially if under 90%). That's generally the level where a doctor might put you on supplementary oxygen and keep you in the hospital for observation (although people at high altitudes might have levels in the low 90s and be fine). That said, an oximeter alone should not be used as the basis for any medical diagnosis; you should consult your doctor immediately if you have any concern. Source: Source: www.mayoclinic.org
Q: Does this pulse oximeter have FDA 510(k) clearance? Why does the model I bought say for aviation or fitness use only?
A: Dr. Talbot's offers a pulse oximeter with FDA 510(k) clearance which is available to hospitals, clinics, and by prescription. Our over-the-counter pulse oximeter for aviation and fitness use is sold under FDA OCH registration and device listing. We work closely with our manufacturer to provide the most accurate pulse oximeter, no matter its use.
Q: What other certifications does this device have?
A: CE and RoHS (for European Union) and Health Canada Medical Device License.
Q: How accurate is this pulse oximeter?
A: Our pulse oximeter is accurate to within ±2% for blood oxygen saturation levels of 70% to 100%. This easily qualifies for meeting International Organization for Standardization (ISO) criteria for oximeter device accuracy. In fact, our pulse oximeter is more accurate than any other oximeter tested by the University of California at San Francisco Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Care comparison study (peer reviewed and published in Anesthesia & Analgesia August 2016 - Volume 123 - Issue 2 - pages 338-345)*.
Q: I have seen other types of oximeters claim patented multidirectional display - what is the truth behind these claims?
A: We work closely with our manufacturer to provide the best technology for customers, including our patented multidirectional screen display utilizing accelerometer technology (US patent # 9,474,477). Oximeters from other manufacturers may claim having a multidirectional display, but that would require pushing a button to change the display orientation. Our model does this automatically with a built-in accelerometer, so there is no need to push any button.
*Equivalent device CMS50DL has closest to 0 and tightest regression line equation for bias (SpO2 - SaO2%) vs SaO2% as per Figure 1 of study.