Home 5 News 5 Is There a Difference Between a Fingertip Pulse Oximeter and a CO Oximeter?
Is There a Difference Between a Fingertip Pulse Oximeter and a CO Oximeter?

Nov 21, 2022

With the improvement of medical level, the technological level of medical equipment is also increasing, from the initial arterial measurement of blood oxygen saturation to the current pulse oximeter, and then to more and more different styles of the pulse oximeter, measuring various This kind of body index equipment can be seen everywhere in the market. This time, I will introduce the fingertip pulse oximeter and Co oximeter.

What is a fingertip pulse oximeter?

The fingertip pulse oximeter is a medical device that measures the blood oxygen saturation of a patient. Its reading accuracy is more accurate than arterial blood analysis, and it is a non-invasive test that can be measured repeatedly. This makes the fingertip pulse oximeter in Oxygen saturation measurement in clinical use brings significant value.

The most common is the transmissive fingertip pulse oximeter. The fingertip device of the fingertip pulse oximeter is placed on the thinner part of the patient’s body, usually fingertips and earlobes (the blood flow velocity of fingertips and earlobes is higher than that of other parts) or baby’s feet. The sensor will emit light of two wavelengths and transmit it to the detector through the body parts, and accurately measure the blood oxygen saturation reading through the change of different wavelengths.

What are the advantages of a fingertip pulse oximeter? The most intuitive is its size, which is very convenient for patients who often need to measure blood oxygen saturation. Moreover, in any environment, the readings measured by the fingertip pulse oximeter are relatively stable (the impact of the environment on the measurement readings).

What is CO-Oximeter?

A CO-Oximeter is a device that measures the oxygenated state of hemoglobin in the blood, including oxygenated hemoglobin, non-oxygenated active hemoglobin, and hemoglobin abnormalities. Simpler oximeters may only report oxygen saturation, which is oxygenated hemoglobin vs. The ratio of total hemoglobin (ie, oxyhemoglobin + deoxyhemoglobin – HHb). CO-oximetry can be used to determine the cause of hypoxemia or hypoxia (lack of oxygen at the tissue level).

CO-Oximeters use at least 4 light rays to measure the percentage of hemoglobin or all hemoglobin in the body (not just functional molecules) that is present in the form of oxyhemoglobin. The most important advantage of co-oximetry is that it can provide a definitive diagnosis of impaired, dysfunctional Hb status that might be missed by relying solely on the more common pulse oximeter or arterial blood gas panel. A CO-Oximeter is usually a clip on a body part such as a finger, and the device uses a probe or sensor to measure CO levels in the blood.


Co-oximeters can be used to detect respiratory diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pneumonia, or asthma. Doctors need it to find out the effect of new lung drugs and whether breathing assistance is needed. Fingertip pulse oximeters are the same.

CO-Oximeter is often used synonymously with Arterial Blood Gas Analyzer because only Multi-Function Arterial Blood Gas Analyzer has a CO-Oximeter function. Some pulse co-oximeters have about 10 wavelengths of light, while a benchtop CO-oximeter may use 128 to 256 wavelengths of light.

Fingertip pulse oximeter readings

Among all medical devices for measuring blood oxygen saturation, fingertip pulse oximeter readings are usually accurate, generally, within a 2% error range, it can be used in hospitals or at home, is easy to operate and portable, of course, doctors It is also recommended that you prepare a fingertip pulse oximeter at home to provide blood oxygen saturation in a more timely manner. When you start using the fingertip pulse oximeter, you must pay attention to remove the fingernail polish to ensure that the environment you are in is not too bright and keep your fingers warm to keep you relaxed, patients with cardiac arrest, or shock, anemia, hypoxia, nail polish or Artificial nails, etc.

Under normal circumstances, the oxygen content in the blood should be above 89%, which is the oxygen saturation level required to maintain human health. If your index is temporarily lower than this value, it will not cause immediate harm, but repeated or continuous drops in blood Oxygen saturation can be hazardous to your body.

Scope of application

The CO-Oximeter is different from the Fingertip Pulse Oximeter in size. The CO-Oximeter is much larger than the Fingertip Pulse Oximeter and has more readings. It is recommended that patients operate under the guidance of a doctor. Both devices are present in many medical procedures, and the standard pulse oximeter reports functional hemoglobin saturation. A CO-oximeter can report the fractional hemoglobin saturation or the percentage of all hemoglobin in the body (not just the functional molecule) present in the form of oxygenated hemoglobin.

Both the fingertip pulse oximeter and the carbon-oxygen oximeter are oximeters, which detect the health of blood oxygen in various parts of the body. The effects of each device are different in different environments and can be determined according to the doctor’s advice. Choose the best oximeter for you.

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