Training & Nutrition - What does a pulse oximeter do for me?
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I know what it does. It measures O2 saturation and pulse rate. I know what the numbers mean and I know how to interpret the pulse rate. But what do I do with the percent saturation?
05-01-10, 06:05 PM
Principles of modern pulse oximetry
Oxygen is carried in the bloodstream mainly bound to haemoglobin. One molecule of haemoglobin can carry up to four molecules of oxygen, which is then 100% saturated with oxygen. The average percentage saturation of a population of haemoglobin molecules in a blood sample is the oxygen saturation of the blood.
In addition, a very small quantity of oxygen is carried dissolved in the blood, which can become important if the haemoglobin levels are extremely low. The latter, however, is not measured by pulse oximetry.
Blood carries oxygen in two forms, the majority is bound to hemoglobin (oxyhemoglobin) and the rest is dissolved in the aqueous phase of blood (the plasma). The finger pulse oximeter measures the saturation of hemoglobin with oxygen. This is expressed as a percent saturation in which each gram of normal hemoglobin can hold 1.34 milliliters of oxygen.
05-01-10, 06:12 PM
What Oxygen Saturation Percentage Is Normal?
So what good does it do for me as an amateur athlete? Low saturation means that my body is doing what? Should it be a rest or easy day?
05-01-10, 07:08 PM
Depends on your %.
Saturation levels between 95-100% at sea level are considered "normal." It is BAD for your body to have oxygen saturation levels that fall below 90% for an extended period of time, as it stresses your body and organs, including your heart & lungs. Under Medicare & most insurers in the US, you qualify for supplemental O2 if your oxygen saturation levels drop to 88% or lower during sleep, exertion or sitting. Your doctor should prescribe it & you should use it as prescribed.
Low saturation (59%-88%) means you could have a respiratory disorder.
05-01-10, 07:17 PM
Monitoring your O2 % is useful to measure high altitude acclimation.
Thanks guys. I've been checking mine everytime I go to REI. They have one of these on display: http://www.rei.com/product/794145. It's been at 98-99% everytime. Just wondering why they were selling it and now I know.
05-02-10, 06:46 AM
Thanks guys. It's been at 98-99% everytime.
Your in good stead.
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