E.T. Phone Home

Can you tell how much oxygen I have?

Now this is the type of gadget that you'll definitely want to know about. It's called a pulse oximeter, and it wraps around one of your fingers or toes. Don't worry, it doesn't hurt at all. When it's turned on, you can see a red light shining at the tip of your finger, just like the part in the E.T. movie where E.T. phones home! Remember that great movie?

Anyway, here's what happens. This pulse thingamajig can tell how much oxygen is floating around in your blood, and it sends out a number. If you have plenty of oxygen, then the number will probably be 98 or 99 or even 100! If you don't have enough oxygen, the number will be lower, and you may need to use a mask to get some more. Oxygen is something that you need to have to breathe easily. Remember the mask that Kim showed you?

Go backward Jump over to the tour To the site map Go forward

Joan Fleitas, Ed.D., R.N.
Associate Professor of Nursing, Lehman College, CUNY
Bronx, New York 10468

Last updated: November 14, 2004