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Decent pulse oximeter

Discussion in 'First Aid Station' started by InvertedBob, Sep 4, 2019.

  1. InvertedBob

    InvertedBob Loaded Pockets

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    Hey guys,
    I'm working on building a first aid kit and I'm looking for a decent pulse oximeter. I never checked what brand the ones at work are so I'm not sure which ones are decently accurate.

    Do you have any brand suggestions? Thank you!

    Sent from my FIG-LX1 using Tapatalk
     
  2. ran23
    • In Omnia Paratus

    ran23 Loaded Pockets

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    Amazon has a few, I am ready to order sometime.
     
  3. FiaOlleDog

    FiaOlleDog Loaded Pockets

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    I got one from Amazon for about 10 bucks, added two lithium batteries (10 year shelf life) and store this in my larger first aid bag, together with other bulky items - to complement my first aid and trauma kits. Works okay'ish.

    Another option might be to use one of the recent fitness bands or smart watches as some come with oximeters built-in, also it may be cumbersome to put this onto an about to be treated person ...
     
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  4. Swe_Nurse

    Swe_Nurse Loaded Pockets

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    What are you looking to get out of it? What size kit do you intend to use it for?

    A pulse oximeter is one of the things that's somewhat nice to have but in reality it doesn't add too much when you don't have the ability to intervene. What are you going to do when it reads 79%? Does that change any of your priorities or your course of action? Is it just another distraction or a useful tool?

    The answer to these questions are not obvious, they are dependent on what situation you're looking to build a kit for, your level of training and the size of the kit.

    All in all, its not an obvious addition to a first aid kit.

    Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk
     
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  5. Burncycle

    Burncycle Loaded Pockets

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    For non-providers they're of limited utility, but if you're wanting one I wouldn't overthink it. Any of the first ones to pop up on Amazon with good reviews will generally work fine, I think mine ran about $14.
     
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  6. InvertedBob

    InvertedBob Loaded Pockets

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    If it read 79% they would be in a pretty bad shape . As part of my volunteering here in the UK I am trained to use a pulse oximeter and administer some gases. I was on a plane recently with a lady that was unwell and they did have oxygen onboard, so the pulseox would've come in handy.

    It would ride in my backpack most of the time.

    It's not a necessity and it wouldn't be in my 'first line' kit.

    Sent from my FIG-LX1 using Tapatalk
     
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  7. Swe_Nurse

    Swe_Nurse Loaded Pockets

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    The airplane is a special case where it could make sense. Normally you wouldn't have access to oxygen "in the streets". Which is the point I'm trying to make, I'm not certain that it adds much to the kit besides weight and bulk. I also want to make the argument that further complications has the possibility to delay proper action.

    Scenario:
    Weekend in the mall. Unresponsive male, about 65, no witnesses except someone saying that maybe they saw him sitting down heavily on the floor rather than falling. Shallow breathing, quick pulse, pale skin. You secure the airway and have someone hold his head while someone calls emergency services, average time of response is 10-15 minutes. Breathing is still shallow and quick but he's breathing. There's possibly a tiny bit of blue on his lips. You have a pulse oximeter in your bag that's next to you.

    What is your next course of action?
     
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  8. InvertedBob

    InvertedBob Loaded Pockets

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    I would be asking/looking for the closest AED. I do see what you mean, but prioritization is a thing with any piece of kit/operation.

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  9. Swe_Nurse

    Swe_Nurse Loaded Pockets

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    Exactly. 10 points. I'm certain plenty of people wouldn't say that.

    1. When do you put the pulse oximeter on the victim?
    2. What do you do with the information?
    3. Can it give you any information that make you change your course of action? If so, what might that be? If not, is it a useful tool?
    4. Are there downsides to using it?

    All of those questions need to be asked for every piece of equipment (with variations).


    Everything that's added to a system adds complication, in many cases unnecessarily. That might very well be the case here.

    I'm not saying that you shouldn't add one, just that this is one of those cheap, flashy items that doesn't necessarily adds much (or anything) to a kit. It makes the kit seem a lot more competent and professional when in reality it doesn't change the capability of the kit.
     
  10. FiaOlleDog

    FiaOlleDog Loaded Pockets

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    I agree with most that has been said - both pro and con carrying an pulse oximeter in an extended medical supply kit.

    Would it be seen useful for mid-term (hours) of patient monitoring when e.g. in remote (outdoor) location? Where higher level of care (EMS/EMT) would take some time to get there - like hiking in non populated places or in the Alps with bad weather so a helicopter wouldn't be an option but medical field personal needs to walk to the casualty? Assume there is a communication channel (voice, text) between first responders and a doctor / emergency center.

    Very well understanding that also having this information (low oxygen blood level) is not even half of the "party" with no possibility to provide help (O2) ...
     
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  11. ffmedic245

    ffmedic245 Loaded Pockets

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    Pulse ox is useful (I've been looking at the cheapos on Amazon, too) but don't forget what we remind students all the time:treat the patient, not the equipment. In other words base your actions upon how the patient presents, not necessarily what numbers you may get. Remember things like cold fingers or pre-existing conditions can affect pulse ox readings, as well as the fact that they are generally slow to reflect treatment.
     
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  12. Burncycle

    Burncycle Loaded Pockets

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    Ironically, first responders in my area are permitted to provide O2, but pulse ox is out of scope :rolleyes:
     
  13. Hammer-V6

    Hammer-V6 Loaded Pockets

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    I picked up an ACCURATE Pulse-Ox from Amazon. I think I paid about $25 for it. It works great. I have had it for about 2 years.