You may be wondering what is a finger pulse oximeter and why would I need one? These are valid questions. Ones I hadn’t considered until I read about what a finger pulse oximeter does. If you are someone who exercises regularly – whether a seasoned athlete or a novice – knowing how much oxygen is getting into your bloodstream and what your heart rate is at any given time is very important. This finger pulse oximeter gives you that information within seconds.
Honestly, I couldn’t explain to you HOW the SantaMedical Finger Pulse Oximeter I received in exchange for my honest review actually works. What I can share with you is how I tested this tiny measuring device and how I believe it could be useful for active people who like to visit or exercise in extreme conditions or environments or for those just starting to get a feel for how best to exercise for their own health. The hemoglobin oxygen meter is powered by two AAA batteries which are included in the package. There is a simple on/off button and it auto shuts down after 8 seconds of non use. When you turn on the meter and open the device, much like opening a clothes pin, you can insert your finger for measurement. This is best done when your hands are clean and oil free and you are not wearing any nail polish or acrylic nails as these can interfere with the results. Within a few seconds the LED display will show two measurements – your pulse and the amount of oxygen dissolved in your blood at that moment. It does not pinch at all but just holds the finger lightly for testing. The inside of the device is lined with a soft, but firm foam padding that cradles your finger. This may seem silly, but I tested this by measuring while in a resting state and breathing normally and then held my breath after exhaling to see if the oxyhemoglobin level changed. For me the levels stayed pretty constant between 97 and 99 which I guess tell me that my heart and lungs are working normally. I stood still, went for a walk and did jump rope just to see if anything changed. The pulse meter did go crazy but the oxygen levels remained fairly consistent.
The reason I was interested in receiving this device is because I’ve just started working out again and I want to make sure that I’m breathing optimally during my workouts. Now this isn’t something you would wear during a workout, but you can use it mid workout to measure your heart rate and see how your oxyhemoglobin levels have changed. Mine stayed pretty constant. I tried the test on different fingers just to make sure the device was working and I noticed that the measurement was a little lower through the thumb and a little higher through the pinky. Finally, I settled on using the middle finger for consistent readings. The pulse measurement for me was the most useful. When I’d feel like my heart was going to beat out of my chest I could know in seconds what my heart rate was at that moment. We all have an optimal range for working out where your body is getting the most benefit. Having a device to take your pulse quickly is very handy.
The oximeter is small and comes with it’s own carrying case and a couple different lanyards for ease of carrying. I could see where this would be helpful if you were hiking or climbing at high altitudes and wanted to get a feel of how your body was reacting to the different conditions. You can find this item on Amazon.