Peninsula Home Care’s Pulse is on Providing Tools to Measure Oxygen Levels for Healthy Lung Month
SALISBURY, MD - It’s amazing how something so small and simple can save lives. Like the little clip placed on a patient’s finger during a well-check. This device, called a pulse oximeter, is used to measure oxygen levels in the bloodstream. These fingertip size devices become a lifesaving tool when they detect problems in the lungs and respiratory system.
Respiratory patients no longer have to wait until their next doctor’s appointment to find out if they have low oxygen levels. They can check their levels in the comfort of their home with Peninsula Home Care’s Tele-Health system. The service gives home care patients and their caregivers the tools they need to track health conditions (such as oxygen saturation levels) and alert home care nurses of any issues, recurrences or flare ups. Peninsula Home Care nurses and therapists use the pulse oximeter as part of their assessment during regular visits. The Tele-Health kit, provided free to patients by Peninsula as part of their home care service, also tracks and records blood pressure levels, pulse-rate and weight. The Peninsula Home Care team also teaches the patient and caregiver techniques to prevent dependency on the Tele-Health kit once discharged.
“This is the perfect time of year to promote the pulse oximetry portion of our Tele-Health kit and services,” said Therese Ganster, Peninsula Home Care community liaison. “In addition to October being National Healthy Lung month, we are on the cusp of pollen season. With pollen comes the risk of congestion, sore throat, itchy eyes and asthma attacks. The pulse oximeter in our Tele-Health kits, help patients detect low oxygen levels early on, so our nurses can respond and provide the necessary treatment before it becomes a trip to the emergency room.
Why is it important to check blood oxygen levels?
Think of oxygen as the gas in the body that makes it run. When the body is low on gas, just like a car, it doesn’t run as smoothly. When a patient has a lung disease or other chronic illness, the blood oxygen levels may be lower than normal which can ultimately put a strain on the heart and brain. To keep cells healthy, a normal oxygen saturation level is between 95-100%. Anything lower may require the need for supplemental oxygen.
How does a pulse oximeter work?
A pulse oximeter can be a small unit with a built in finger/toe clip or a small hand held device with a wire probe that clips onto the finger, toe or earlobe. Little beams of light pass from the device through the blood in the finger (earlobe or toe). The beams of light calculate the percentage of blood that is carrying oxygen. This reading helps healthcare providers evaluate the need for supplemental oxygen.
To learn more about Peninsula Home Care’s Tele-Health kit and services call 302/629-4914.
About Peninsula Home Care
Peninsula Home Care ensures that all patients are involved in their plan of care and strives to give them every opportunity to maintain their independence in the home. The agency has served more than 35,000 patients on Delmarva and has been named to the “Home Health Care Elite” three times in five years. For more information visit www.peninsulahomecare.com.