What are Handheld Pulse Oximeters?
Handheld Pulse Oximeters (or "SATs monitors" as they are sometimes known) are still one of the most popular methods of obtaining pulse oximetry measurements. A separate reusable sensor on the end of a length of cable is clipped onto the finger and the other end is plugged into the handheld oxygen saturation monitor. This handset contains all the electronics, power supply and display screen.
This method allows the "Pulse Ox" to be used with different types of compatible sensor; giving the user a choice of reusable or disposable sensors, as well as a choice of different sites including the earlobe, hand, foot, finger or toe.
There’s also a lot more room inside the device (compared with a Fingertip Pulse Oximeter) which allows the manufacturers to incorporate other functions, such as audible alarms, data storage memory and rechargeable batteries.
Power supplies are aimed at maximising the portable nature of these devices and so are either typical disposable alkaline batteries (available in most shops) or an internal rechargeable battery with a mains charger (a bit like those supplied with mobile phones).
Some models can be used with charger bases, into which the handheld pulse oximeter is placed to convert it to a bedside-type unit.