What is Oxygen Saturation?
Oxygen saturation is having more oxygen (O2) in your blood. What it causes is that oxygen molecules enter the tissues of the body. Ongoing evaluation of respiratory functions and lung activity is very important . Since our body depends on oxygen to live its decrease or increase can be dangerous.
The blood oxygen level is the amount of oxygen that circulates in the blood. Most of the oxygen is carried by red blood cells, which pick up oxygen from the lungs and carry it to all parts of the body.
Older adults tend to have lower oxygen saturation levels than younger people. For example, a person over the age of 70 may have an oxygen saturation level of about 95%, which is an acceptable level. When oxygen is less than 90%, hypoxia occurs and, if it is less than 80%, it is considered severe hypoxia .
Influential external agents
It is important to bear in mind that the level of oxygen saturation varies considerably depending on the state of health of the person . Therefore, it is important to understand both the baseline readings and the underlying physiology associated with certain conditions to interpret oxygen saturation levels and changes in these levels.
Obese people or conditions such as cardiovascular and pulmonary lung disease, emphysema, chronic obstructive disease, congenital heart disease and sleep apnea tend to have saturation levels lower oxygen. Smoking can also affect the accuracy of pulse oximetry.
Oxygen saturation may remain normal (for example, 97% and more) in people with anemia . However, this may not indicate adequate oxygenation because there is less hemoglobin to carry an adequate supply of oxygen for people who have anemia. Inadequate oxygen supply may be more prominent during activity for people with anemia.
Low and Normal Blood Oxygen Levels
The normal oxygen saturation value in an adult ranges between 95-99% , this also occurs in the elderly. However, it can vary in some people, such as smokers or those with some type of respiratory disease, as we have discussed previously.
A person’s blood oxygen level is an indicator of how well the body distributes oxygen from the lungs to the cells, and can be important for people’s health. Following a normal level of oxygen in the blood varies between 75 and 100 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). If it is less than 60 mm Hg, it is considered low and may require the administration of oxygen supplements, depending on the doctor’s decision and on each case.
How to measure oxygen saturation in elderly people?
Blood test : this involves performing a blood gas analysis, which can measure the amount of arterial and venous oxygen. It all depends on whether the puncture is done in an artery or a vein.
Pulse oximetry : This involves placing a device on the finger called a pulse oximeter. This device has a screen and a sensor that detects the pulse. The display shows the level of oxygen saturation in arterial blood hemoglobin. In addition, it informs us of the heart rate per minute.
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