Laboratory research: saturation - what is it?

A small fluctuation in the level of oxygen saturation can occur in every person. For a more accurate analysis of the changes in this indicator, it will be correct to make several measurements. Further in the article we will find out why there are fluctuations, how they are fixed and for what it is necessary to control them.

Decreased level of O 2 in the blood: causes

Saturation of blood with oxygen occurs in the lungs. Then O 2 is carried to organs with hemoglobin. This compound is a special carrier protein. It is found in red blood cells - red blood cells. By the level of oxygen saturation, it is possible to determine the amount of hemoglobin that is present in the body in an oxygen-bound state. Ideally, the level of saturation should be in the range of 96-99%. With this indicator, almost all hemoglobin is bound to oxygen. The cause of its lowering can be severe forms of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. With anemia , the hemoglobin level is significantly reduced. In the case of exacerbation of chronic cardiac and pulmonary diseases, a decrease in oxygen in the blood is also observed, so it is recommended to consult a doctor right away.

Colds, flu, SARS, pneumonia, chronic bronchitis affect this indicator and report a severe form of the disease. During the survey, it is necessary to take into account some extraneous factors that affect the decrease in oxygen saturation in the blood and change the indices. Such are the movement of the hands or the trembling of the fingers, a manicure with the presence of a varnish of dark tones, a direct hit of light. Among the factors should also be noted the low temperature of the room and closely located objects with electromagnetic radiation, including a mobile phone. All this leads to errors in the measurements during diagnosis.

Saturation - what is it?

By this term we mean the state of saturation of liquids by gases. Saturation in medicine means what percentage of oxygen is contained in the blood. This indicator is one of the most important and ensures the normal vital activity of the body. Blood carries oxygen, which is necessary for proper functioning, to all organs. How to determine what is in the blood saturation? What will it give?

Pulse Oximeter

Saturation of blood with oxygen is determined by a method called pulse oximetry. The device that is used in this case is called a pulse oximeter. This method was first used in medical institutions in intensive care units. Pulse oximeter has become a popular tool for diagnosing human health. It began to be used even at home. The device is easy to use, so it measures some important for life indicators, including pulse and saturation. What is this device and how does it work?

Principle of operation of equipment

Circulation of a significant amount of oxygen in the body occurs in a state associated with hemoglobin. The rest of it is freely spread by blood, which is capable of absorbing light and any other substances. What is the principle of the pulse oximeter? For the analysis it is necessary to make blood sampling. As you know, many people do not tolerate this unpleasant procedure. Especially it concerns children. It is rather difficult for them to explain why saturation is determined, what is it and what is the need for it. But, fortunately, pulsometry eliminates such troubles. The study is completely painless, fast and absolutely "bloodless". The external sensor, which is connected to the device, leans against the ear, the tip of the finger or other peripheral organs. The result is processed by the processor and the display shows whether the oxygen saturation is normal or not.


However, there are a couple of nuances. In the human body, there are two types of hemoglobin: reduced and oxyhemoglobin. The latter oxygenates the tissues. The task of a pulse oximeter is to distinguish these types of oxygen. In the peripheral sensor there are two LEDs. One of them comes from red light rays having waves of 660 Nm in length , from the other - infrared rays, whose wavelength is 910 Nm and above. It is because of the absorption of these oscillations that it becomes possible to determine the level of oxyhemoglobin. The peripheral sensor is equipped with a photodetector, which receives light rays. They pass through the tissues and send a signal to the procedural block. Then the measurement result is displayed on the display, and here you can determine whether the oxygen saturation is normal or there are deviations. The second nuance is the absorption of light only from the arterial blood. This is due to its ability to change its density, carrying it out simultaneously with changes in blood pressure. As a result, the arterial light flux significantly more fluctuates. Pulse oximeter distinguishes light transmitted through the artery.

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