Pulse Oximeter > 100

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by SixPapaCharlie, Jul 13, 2019.

  1. SixPapaCharlie

    SixPapaCharlie May the force be with you

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    Dad and I flew to Roswell today and we were up around 12k.
    We grabbed the pulse oximeters and I was 92-93 consistently.
    Dad was reading 108 - 110

    We grabbed another PO and tried it and the results were the same.
    What does that O2 number mean. I thought it was a percentage but guessing it is not as his was consistently over 100.
     
  2. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    It really isn't.

    https://www.nursingtimes.net/clinic...try-in-measuring-oxygen-status/199984.article

    "Using pulse oximetry correctly involves more than just reading the number display, since not all patients with the same SpO2 have the same amount of oxygen in their blood. A saturation of 97% means that 97% of the total amount of haemoglobin in the body is filled with oxygen molecules. Therefore the interpretation of oxygen saturations must be in the context of the patient’s total haemoglobin level (Carroll, 1997). Another factor that affects the oximeter readings is how tightly the haemoglobin and oxygen are bound together, which may change with various physiological conditions."
     
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  3. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    It should not read over 100. It's measuring the % O2 saturation; the amount of hemoglobin that is carrying oxygen.

    But the simple meters we use in airplanes are subject to a lot of variables they are trying to compensate for, including the relative thickness of one's finger (absorption of the two light frequencies not related to hemoglobin/O2, ambient light hitting the detector, motion of the hand, and so forth).

    Did your Dad keep it on his finger, keep his hand still, and let it stabilize? The best way to get an accurate reading is to hold it with the finger fully inserted, out of the ambient light and with your hand still, so it can get a stable reading.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
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  4. G-Man

    G-Man Line Up and Wait

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    Is it possible you were misreading the info, and your father's pulse was 108-110, not the O2 saturation?
     
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  5. SixPapaCharlie

    SixPapaCharlie May the force be with you

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    hmmmmmm
    We both have aging eyes so perhaps we had it upside down.
    I gotta go look at again.


    Sidebar: Also, My dad is a big foreflight / stratus fan. @G-Man will you be at Osh?
     
  6. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I presume you were on O2 at that altitude, to get those numbers, Bryan?
    (I would never score that high, at 12K sans the cannulae)
     
  7. overdrive148

    overdrive148 En-Route

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    My dad has had his Sp02 down to 68. The docs changed their batteries to double check.
     
  8. SixPapaCharlie

    SixPapaCharlie May the force be with you

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    No O2 on board.
     
  9. FORANE

    FORANE Pattern Altitude

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    spo2 reading >100 is not possible. Likely @G-Man correct in the pulse ox was set to display pulse rate and not spo2.
     
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  10. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    turn the display around....you're reading it upside down. ;):D
     
  11. OneCharlieTango

    OneCharlieTango Pre-Flight

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    There is a 100% chance that this is what’s going on.
     
  12. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    No Cirrus jokes yet.... wtf's going on around here? :eek:
     
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  13. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy Pattern Altitude

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    PulseOX finger devices measure typically two things. One is oxygen -impossible to be over 100%. The other is your pulse-quite possible that it could be over 100- especially at a higher altitude when o2sat is going to be lower as a compensatory mechanism
     
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  14. AdamZ

    AdamZ Administrator Management Council Member

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    Perhaps his heart rate was high due to the thin air and you were reading his bpm.
     
  15. dmspilot

    dmspilot En-Route

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    I would say there's a 108% chance.
     
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  16. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    At the “post op” bed after my steroid shot to the neck when they thought my symptoms were from stenosis (that was a waste of money and time ha), the nurse stuck a cheap-o pulse oximiter on me, just to do the formality of writing down vitals like they always do a few minutes before they released me to go home.

    It looked IDENTICAL to our one in the airplane.

    Except... I almost came out of the chair because it said my oxygen level was 70ish.

    I quickly asked “70s for oxygen level?!” She hadn’t looked concerned until that point and takes another look at it...

    “That’s the pulse rate.”

    Stupid thing was identical in every way to ours except the numbers were reversed. Scared the crap out of me for a second.

    Nurse laughed when I told her why I freaked out. Yeah, I own that exact unit but the numbers are reversed.

    I was in the 90s of course. Haha.
     
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  17. 1RTK1

    1RTK1 Cleared for Takeoff

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    I had a remarkable O2 level once at 11,500 over the sierra's. Pulled out my puls-oximeter stuck it on my finger and had a reading of 92 thought it was broken, stuck it on my pilot buddies finger and he showed 85. Neither of us had any oxygen, still don't know why mine was so high.
     
  18. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Cold hands, weak pulse, CO, all reduce the accuracy of the reading.
     
  19. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    Perhaps your companion was a long term smoker, or had smoother condition that limited his oxygen uptake.
     
  20. 1RTK1

    1RTK1 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Funny thing is that I once was a smoker and seem to always have tremendous oxygen saturation, my buddy with me never smoked. Odd. His came back after we landed.
     
  21. FORANE

    FORANE Pattern Altitude

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    Not funny, science.
    Standard pulse oximeters are incapable of distinguishing oxyhemoglobin from carboxyhemoglobin. They will falsely read high with smokers and folks suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.
     
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  22. 1RTK1

    1RTK1 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Correct, but I haven't smoke for years:) and wasn't smoking at the time either. No false reading possible.
     
  23. N884

    N884 Pre-Flight

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    Did you see any UFO’s?
     
  24. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    Can these ox meters differentiate between oxygen and CO when they give concentrations?
     
  25. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    no
     
  26. Brad Z

    Brad Z En-Route

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    Not the $25 pulse ox meters we buy off of Amazon/eBay. Some of the expensive devices used by EMS and hospitals will differentiate.
     
  27. 1RTK1

    1RTK1 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Well now that you mention it, and after regression hypnosis..........