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An Easy Guide to Pulse Oximeters

Oxygen is vital to system and organ function in our bodies. In order to be carried around the body, molecules of oxygen attach to the haemoglobin proteins in red blood cells. The amount of oxygen (measured as a %) in haemoglobin proteins is called ‘oxygen saturation’ and this percentage can be determined using pulse oximetry. The values from pulse oximetry are useful as they tell us how much oxygen is actually reaching the different organs and systems in the body.

Pulse oximetry uses devices called pulse oximeters that attach to an area on the patient where blood flow can be measured (most commonly on the finger). Light is then shone through the skin it is positioned on and a detector on the other side measures the amount of light that makes it through. The amount of absorbed light is indicative of the oxygen concentration and as such, a pulse oximeter does not directly measure oxygen saturation but rather closely estimates it.

Normal levels of oxygen saturation are between 95-100%. A…
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The Proper Application and Removal of ECG Electrodes

We often have ECG machines sent to us for checking as the users state that the machine is not reading properly. When we test them, we find out there is nothing wrong. 

There are many reasons for this issue. A common problem is that the paper is inserted incorrectly, and another problem is the skin of the patients is not being prepared properly.

The skin should NOT be cleaned with an alcohol swab before applying the electrode as the alcohol is drying and will prevent good conductivity through the electrode.

Here is a step by step guide on how to apply the electrodes

1. Clean & prepare the skin

All application sites need to be clean, dry and free of lotions. The site always needs to be washed with soap and water and then dried before placing the electrodes. Using alcohol should be avoided as it can dry out the skin, increasing skin impedance and trace artifacts. If needed, any excessive hair should be removed at the placement site.

2. Apply the electrodes

First the liner …