Forum
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...

Pulse Oximeters?

Info on gear, conditioning, and preparation for hiking/climbing. Gear Classifieds
User avatar
Posts: 256
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2007 1:01 pm
Location: Westminster, CO

Pulse Oximeters?

Postby Eaglevu » Sat Dec 15, 2007 10:03 pm

After searching the web recently, for pocket-size pulse oximeters, I noticed a few models are now selling for under $200. I am interested in getting one for my Muztagh Ata trip, next summer. Does anyone have information or experiences to pass along? Any recommendations?
-Eaglevu
(Member of the "EVEREST IS TOO D_MN HIGH!" party.)

User avatar
Posts: 551
Joined: Thu Jul 06, 2006 3:39 pm
Location: Colorado Springs, CO

Re: Pulse Oximeters?

Postby COmedic04 » Sat Dec 15, 2007 10:49 pm

What kind are you looking at? I use a Pulse Ox. all the time on the ambulance/ER, etc...One thing to consider, that I would wager is more important than the pulse ox itself, is the sensor type. There's the plastic finger "clamp" style, and the "band-aid" kind that just wraps around your fingertip. The band-aid kind is most likely cheaper, but I don't know how effectively it would stay on in the cold.
Paramedic: Drive safe, or I'll see you naked!!

"The mountains are not stadiums where I satisfy my ambition to achieve, they are the cathedrals where I practice my religion."
- Anatoly Boukreev

User avatar
Posts: 117
Joined: Sat Dec 09, 2006 11:46 pm
Location: Colorado Springs, CO

Re: Pulse Oximeters?

Postby gc » Sun Dec 16, 2007 1:09 am

I've been researching models myself before I buy one. I did find an interesting article from the American Alpine Institute Guide's Choice Award for pulse oximeters: http://www.sportstat.nonin.com/document ... _Notes.pdf.

Are you a HAMS instructor? I'll be taking it this January.

Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 11:54 pm

Re: Pulse Oximeters?

Postby floodin1 » Sun Dec 16, 2007 10:23 am

I purchased a nonin onyx (was recommended by my doc, but I researched others as well) several years ago before my transplant. Small, portable, durable, and reliable...never had a problem with accuracy (compared numbers when at Dr.s office). I'm not sure how durable the pulse ox's made for everyday home use will be when used under the conditions you'll be in though.

Nick
Enjoying my second wind. Give life, Be an organ donor. Recieved Dbl lung transplant in 2003.

User avatar
Posts: 367
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2007 7:22 pm
Location: Aurora

Re: Pulse Oximeters?

Postby Alby426 » Sun Dec 16, 2007 10:27 am

I work in Aviation and many pilots swear by the Healthdyne 950. I can say that it works amazingly well, unfortunately, the price is around $350.
http://www.msdistributors.com/BioMed/MEH/HE950.HTM
My duty, as a human, is not to take, but, to give!

User avatar
Posts: 128
Joined: Sun May 22, 2005 5:40 pm
Location: Phoenix

Re: Pulse Oximeters?

Postby mtnduck9 » Sun Dec 16, 2007 1:09 pm

A pulse oximeter measures oxygen saturation % in the blood. Just curious why you would want one for climbing?

User avatar
Posts: 93
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2007 5:47 pm

Re: Pulse Oximeters?

Postby ikkythump » Sun Dec 16, 2007 1:17 pm

HIgh altitude climbing.

Lower atmospheric oxygen density can c ause a drop in blood oxygen content (%)

below 80% is generally considered dangerous. (from what I gather...)
Amos 4:13

User avatar
Posts: 430
Joined: Fri May 05, 2006 10:54 am
Location: Ft Collins, CO

Re: Pulse Oximeters?

Postby Lhotse » Sun Dec 16, 2007 4:07 pm

mtnduck9 wrote:A pulse oximeter measures oxygen saturation % in the blood. Just curious why you would want one for climbing?


I'm not sure why someone would want one either. A lot of money for something you dont really need. The only time someone should be concerned about low SpO2 levels is when there's no reason for it to be low (ex:sitting at home). It's not going to be high while climbing at altitude, average SpO2 levels on top of Everest is around 36%. That's normal, which is why most need supplemental O2. If your levels get low, you wont need a Pulse Ox, you'll feel the effects on your body. We do use it sometimes in the EMS/Hospital world, but not as a diagnostic tool. Just my take on things, others with experience using them in the mountains might have a diff argument.
"Tommorrow Is Promised to No One" ..Walter Payton...Brian Rush

Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 7:51 pm

Re: Pulse Oximeters?

Postby sawbones » Sun Dec 16, 2007 6:07 pm

You can buy a Check Mate Pulse Oximeter for $179 from sporty's pilot shop." sportys.com". I have one and have used it in Colorado. It works well. You get an LCD readout of O2 sat and of course your heart rate. It is light weight. There are other models. Nonin is probably the most widely used in hospitals. I have used these many times, they work very well but they are more expensive and probably not worth the extra bucks for something that you will probably use once or twice on a climb. I will warn you. I have hiked many times at high altitude and felt winded but never concerned. I live in Ohio so I am not acclimated to the altitude. The first time I carried a pulse oximeter above 14,000 my saturation was 78%. My hiking partner lives in Gunnison. He was at 88%. I am not sure how useful this information is. It does however establish a benchmark for the user.

Good Luck
Flatlander

User avatar
Posts: 256
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2007 1:01 pm
Location: Westminster, CO

Re: Pulse Oximeters?

Postby Eaglevu » Thu Dec 20, 2007 2:00 pm

For those of you interested in this topic:

Mr. White,

We received your information from SPO Medical. We are sellers of FDA approved finger oximeters such as the SPO 5500/Checkmate and the Nonin 9500 (also known as the Sportstat).

To see our products click on below link:

http://www.turnermedical.com/Finger_Oximeters.htm

The FDA requires all pulse oximeters legally sold in the USA to be approved by the FDA. The FDA allows pulse oximeter manufacturers to sell "non-medical" oximeters such as the Checkmate and Sportstat as long as there is an FDA approved equivelant i.e. SPO 5500, Nonin 9500.

There is absolutely no difference between the non-medical and medical oximeters. What makes it a non-medical oximeter is the manual and the marketing language used. The manuals for medical oximeters are written for healthcare professionals and manuals for non-medical have more layman's terms included.

To get a good reading, pulse oximeters require good blood circulation and little movement when taking a reading. Climbers tend to be in cold environments so if the fingers are too cold that will restict blood flow resulting in a poor oximetry reading (warm them before a reading). Also altitude does impact what a "acceptable" oximetry reading should be (see attached altitude chart). As you increase altitude the acceptable level of SPo2 (oxygen saturation) drops.

As far as accuracy and quality of pulse oximeters go, the more you pay the better the oximeter. Please let us know if you have any questions.

Thank you,

Stephen (Turner Medical Supplies)
-Eaglevu
(Member of the "EVEREST IS TOO D_MN HIGH!" party.)

User avatar
Posts: 2691
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2006 9:22 am
Location: Glenwood Springs, CO

Re: Pulse Oximeters?

Postby cheeseburglar » Thu Dec 20, 2007 3:19 pm

They are pretty cool and comparing the numbers will be fun after the climb, but I'm not sure what the actual benefit to having one along is...
Unless you are going to use O2 saturation as a criteria for keeping people from the summit team. Saturation at a given altitude will vary from person to person. Normally, people who acclimate well or are less prone to altitude sickness than others will have higher saturation levels. I guess you could use O2 saturation as an early indicator of oncoming altitude sickness, but I'm not sure if that is completely true in every case. If you can't trust your fellow climbers to recognize and react appropriately to the onset of altitude sickness, you may have other problems, such as peak-bagger-itess, a deadly condition in the mountain!

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests