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Does the cold have any effect on the accuracy of a pulse oximeter
A pulse oximeter is a device that is quite durable and able to operate in very extreme temperatures. In fact its range of functioning in cold and very hot environments is really without match. Essentially what can possibly affect the readings is actually extreme cold temperatures. The reason for this is the way that the pulse oximeter actually measures the pulse rate and blood oxygen saturation of the individuals. Essentially it works like this: when you desire to have your pulse rate and blood oxygen saturation read you place your finger inside the device and within seconds you will get a reading. As you place your finger inside the device what happens is that an infrared light passes through the skin and comes back with a reading. That reading is what the individuals with various health conditions utilize to monitor their health. With that reading they are able to assess their health and make determinations thereafter. The way that the extreme cold may have an affect on the accuracy of the pulse oximeter has to do with the person’s own body. What happens when it is very cold is that the human body begins to conserve its energy and the heart rate actually goes down. Also, the oxygen levels of the human body begin to go down as well. So essentially if you get reading from the pulse oximeter in extreme cold you will notice that the readings will be slightly out of the normal rates and as such you will get concerned. However, this really has nothing to do with the accuracy of the device because it’s the human being’s response to the extreme cold that has affected the readings. The way to fix this is actually to try to be in a more stable environment where the body is functioning at normal levels and temperatures.
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