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Preventative Maintenance Tips for Pulse Oximeters

Patient Monitoring  |   · 4 years ago by  Jonathan Payne

A pulse oximeter indirectly monitors both the oxygen saturation of a patient's blood and the changes in blood volume in the skin, producing a photoplethysmogram. The pulse oximeter may be incorporated into a multiparameter patient monitor and most monitors also display the pulse rate. 

Like any other piece of medical equipment, a pulse oximeter requires routine maintenance and tests to ensure that the machine is functioning properly.  Below, you will find 4 main tips that will help to both prolong the life of your pulse oximeter AND ensure that it is functioning without any errors.

  1. Physical Condition:  Check to make sure the device is clean and decontaminated. Next, check to see if there is any physical damage to the case, display, mounts, cart or components.  Both the switches and controls should be operable and correctly aligned.  Check to see if the control numbers, labels and warnings are present. If so, are they legible? Next, check the inlets and hoses. Is the power cord and charger functioning properly? Last but not least, check both the filters and vents to make sure they are clean.
  2. Electrical Safety:  Perform electical safety checks.  Be sure to check the ground wire resistance and chassis leakage. Next, conduct a patient lead leakage current isolation test as well as an insulation test.  All test results should fall within parameters set.
  3. Preventative Maintenance:  First, clean the recorder paper compartment, rollers and paper guides. Next, lubricate the motor and paper drive mechanism. After lubrication, verify the date and time. Correct if necessary. The battery should be replaced every 24 months without question. If there are any additional, model-specific preventative maintenance procedures, be sure to complete these as well.
  4. Performance Testing:  Verify the unit operates on battery. To do so, Check that the AC power indicator is lit when the power cord is plugged into an outlet. Now unplug the AC power cord and perform the remainder of the functional test on battery power. Next, check for both heart rate and SpO2 accuracy. Last but not least you should test the recorder operation and alarm function of your machine.

In the market for a new or used pulse oximeter?  Visit Novatek Medical!

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