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Buying a pulse oximeter has became much easier in the past few years as more and more products are available on the market. In general, the two factors that affect your decision are budget and need. As a guideline, more features mean higher cost; higher demand for quality and support mean higher cost also. You need to decide the features you needed and the level of quality/support you wanted. For most oximeters on the market, regardless of their prices, they have comparable accuracy except in some rare situations, where you would need to consider oximeters made for these situations. Quality does not include accuracy here, but things liked how readable is the display, how long it takes to get a stable reading, how long would the unit lasted, how much abuse can the unit withstand before quitting...
For spot checking, any pulse oximeter is fine. However finger pulse oximeter, where the sensor is integrated with the unit, is recommended because of its lower cost.
For continuous monitoring, a probe is needed as the integrated finger oximeter would slip off the finger when it moves. All handheld oximeters come with probes. Furthermore, with different probes, the handheld oximeters can be used for infants, children and adults. Almost all handheld pulse oximeters can record data for at least 24 hours and the data can be archived to a computer for analysis.
The following table summarizes our recommendations on finger pulse oximeter.
|Basic - pulse rate and SpO2||CMS50DL, MD300C11, MD300C1|
|Children or people small hands||MD300C54|
|Oximeter with Pleth||MD300C21, MD300C23, MD300C54 (children), MD300C316, MD300C318T, MD300C63, MD300631|
|Oximeter with Pleth and alarm||MD300C316, MD300C318T, CMS50EW|
|Oximeter with Bluetooth||MD300C318T, CMS50EW|
|Recording oximeter||All sleep monitors, MD300C316, MD300C318T, all handheld oximeters|
|Oximeter with blood pressure monitor||MD500B, CONTEC08C-ADT|
|Patient with extremely low blood perfusion||Masimo SET, Nonin Onyx 9500|