Since the coronavirus pandemic entered our lives , a clamp-shaped device with a small screen that is placed on the finger has become increasingly common in homes. This device is called an oximeter , and it is used to measure oxygen saturation in the blood.
In this way, it allows to estimate if the patient is suffering from a problem that prevents proper breathing (although it is not the only value to take into account), since the oxygen saturation in the blood is nothing other than the amount of oxygen that it is carrying each red blood cell.
And, although vaccination has considerably reduced the frequency of symptomatic cases of covid-19, it is a device that, used with due prudence, can be useful in other situations such as, for example, the appearance of common respiratory problems in patients. kids.
What is the normal value in children?
The oxygen saturation in the blood should show similar levels in both children and adults; more specifically, it should be in the range between 95% and 99% . Below these levels, saturation is considered low and therefore so is the level of oxygen in the blood.
However, even if the child is within these levels, his respiratory system may not be working properly if there are other signs such as very rapid breathing (alterations in respiratory rate), obstructed work of breathing or strange noises during auscultation. .
Caution with the oximeter
The oximeter is not at all invasive or harmful, so performing this measurement on a child who is showing visible respiratory disorders will not be negative in any case. However, as we have said before, it must be remembered at all times that the oxygen saturation in the blood is only one of the many parameters that inform us about the correct functioning of respiration.
For this reason, it is important that a doctor evaluates these data as a whole, and although it is good to consult him if a child marks a value below those considered normal, it should be the doctor who decides what observations to make about the patient and of course it is the only one qualified to issue a diagnosis. Remembering, furthermore, that blood saturation is indicative and that neither a low value necessarily implies a health problem nor a normal one implies the absence of a problem.