Oxygen Saturation In Your Blood – What Is Normal, What Is Not?
To function properly our body tissues require adequate oxygen saturation. You may have the question how does oxygen travel towards all the organs and tissues present in the body? The red blood cells contain hemoglobin which absorbs the oxygen that we have inhaled, and then it is supplied to the whole body. Each and every tissue and cell available in the body requires oxygen for healthy and smooth functioning. The absorption process of oxygen inside the blood is called oxygenation.
Normal Oxygen Saturation Levels:
The oxygen saturation percentage in the blood is termed as ‘sats and can be measured with an oxygen saturation monitor, also known as a pulse oximeter. For example, when the results of the test state that 95% is the rate of your sats, it means that the hemoglobin available in the blood is 95% oxygenated. The normal oxygen saturation levels in an individual who is healthy should ideally range from 97% to 99%. Therefore, it is advisable that you check with the doctor about the details of your test results.
The test for measuring the oxygen saturation levels may include a test with the use of pulse oximeter or a blood test. If a blood test is done to check the levels or in other words arterial blood gas, then generally the blood sample is collected from the femoral, brachial or radial artery. Then a gas machine is used to pour the blood in which gives the ‘sats’ value. But the utilization of pulse oximeter is the preferred way of conducting a test. In this method they clip on a finger probe that has a digital sensor for measuring the quantity of oxygen available in the blood. The results are instantly displayed via a digital reading.
Low levels of Oxygen Saturation:
At times the oxygen saturation levels are lower compared to the normal values. In medical terms, if the results display levels which are below 90% then the condition may be termed as hypoxia. Further, if the oxygen saturation level in the blood shows a lower level than 80%, it is deemed to be severe hypoxia and requires immediate medical attention. There are many external and internal factors which lead to hypoxia such as a severe shock, lack of oxygen while breathing in a high altitude, and so on. Some illnesses and health issues also may result in lower oxygen saturation, such as pneumonia or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), or pulmonary edema.
Therefore, the determining factor of the oxygen level in the blood is known as oxygen saturation level. When oxygen levels in the blood are abnormal, either low or high, it can indicate the possibility of serious health issues which should be investigated further with your physician. For example, a low oxygen saturation level implies that the body has not been able to get enough oxygen supply and so the functional ability of the body will be affected. Hypoxia can result in dizziness, headaches, confusion and can even result in death of tissues, organs and even one’s life. On the other hand, a high oxygen saturation level may also necessitate serious attention because it also can lead to damage or death of the tissues which are present in the body.
Home monitoring of oxygen saturation levels in the blood is easier and more convenient today with the introduction of high quality, yet inexpensive oxygen saturation monitors which can be purchased locally or online at retailers such as Amazon.