By dcb on Feb 08, 2005
This last weekend I was under the weather. Intense sinus pressure, 102.9 temps, and eventually reduced lung capacity. I generally fight off bugs without meds, but this one lasted longer than I liked, so I visited my doc. He listened to my lungs and radioed the nurse to run a Pulse Oximeter on me. She came in the examination room in less than a minute with a little non-invasive finger clip device. Within seconds, I found out my Blood Oxy was 94%.
Maybe it's the engineer in me, but I was fascinated by how this thing worked. I found a nice one-pager on the history and theory of operation (see below). I also found out that normal is 97-99%, and below 90% suggest possible need for ventilator support.... Which is why I was given a short term protocol of Prednisone along with some antibiotics. Just 24 hours later I feel great!