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Dangers of hypoxia and how it can be prevented by use of a pulse oximeter

A pulse oximeter is a medical and health device that is extremely useful in the field of vital sign health monitoring. An oximeter devices measures pulse rate and blood oxygen saturation with accuracy and ease. Blood oxygen saturation is also known as SpO2 and is the percentage of hemoglobin that is found in the blood. This figure is very important because in essence it represents the amount of oxygen that your body including your tissues are absorbing. For invidiuals that operate and function at very high altitudes like mountain climbers or even pilots it is of critical importance to monitor their blood oxygen saturation levels. The reason for this is the fact that oxygen is the most basic element to sustaining life. Without oxygen no human or tissue within the human body will be able to survive. As such there must at all times be sufficient amount of oxygen available to an individual at all times in order to ensure that they are functioning at healthy levels. When you are at high altitudes in the case of mountain climbers or even high altitudes in case of pilots you can run the risk of experiencing hypoxia. Hypoxia is condition where the body does not get enough oxygen and as such there can be some serious side effects to the body

What the pulse oximeter will tell the pilot is their SpO2 levels and based off that number and whether they are at healthy levels the pilot can determine if a situation exists whereby the pilot may need to resort to using supplemental oxygen in order to prevent hypoxia. Pulse oximeter technology was never truly created for the pilot setting. It has it roots in the hospital and clinical setting where each individual patient would be connected to the oximeter device in order to monitor their vital signs. Should the vital signs including the pulse rate or oxygen levels fall below a level that is not particularly health the physician or health care profession would be alerted and as such they can take action. These devices however changed through the advent of new chip technology that not only made the devices smaller but also allowed them to become portable in order to be utilized for portable applications. Thus it was no longer necessary that the device be plugged into the wall at all times in order to function. The device became portable to the point that it was only a fraction of the size of a typical cellphone. As such, when the pulse oximeter device became portable it was able to be used for applications related to pilots. The pilot simply takes a portable oximeter with them everytime that they decide to fly. There they can monitor their oxygen levels and know the point where they may be in need of supplemental oxygen.

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