Within the last few years, wearable devices for babies have popped up claiming to do everything from preventing SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) to give parents a piece of mind that their baby is still breathing, even while they sleep. While parents have flocked to these devices, there is no substitute for having a clinical baby pulse oximeter in your home. Here’s why.
1. Babies get sick
There is nothing quite so heartbreaking as a sick baby. At the same time, there is nothing more disconcerting than a baby with an upper respiratory infection. Whether your child sounds like a seal when they cough or is breathing rapidly, a pulse oximeter can give you an instant reading of the oxygen saturation in their blood. This reading can then help you make a decision about whether they need to be seen in the doctor’s office or should be taken directly to the hospital. Anything less than 90 and you know your child needs to be seen by a doctor immediately. Having a baby pulse oximeter on hand, along with the skill to properly use it, can offer a piece of mind to parents at a stressful time.
2. Pulse oximetry can uncover hidden problems
About 40,000 babies are born with congenital heart defects every year in the US. While many of these are seen on ultrasound, pulse oximetry may be the key to diagnosing those that slip through the cracks. A simple baby pulse oximeter can detect whether a baby has chronically low oxygen levels and help them receive the care they need. While many hospitals have created protocols to screen every newborn for low oxygen levels using a pulse oximeter, having one at home may make the difference between life or death for babies who do not receive this screening when they are born. Best of all, if discovered, these heart defects can be repaired in more than 90 percent of patients.
3. Premies and babies who need oxygen also need monitoring
Premature infants have been shown to be at risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) longer than their full-term counterparts. On average, premature babies and babies who were born small for their gestational age were found to be at a higher risk for SIDS for up to 6 weeks longer than a full term, full-sized baby. Premature babies (those born at 27 to 32 weeks) and very premature babies (those born at 22 to 27 weeks) are also more likely to go home with some additional oxygen needs. In this case, it is not enough to monitor the oxygen levels going into the nasal cannula, you must also have a means for monitoring the oxygen saturation in your baby’s bloodstream. In both premature infants and infants who have additional oxygen needs, monitoring is critical to keeping them healthy.
For more information about baby pulse oximeters, contact Foremost Medical Equipment. Our equipment specialists will be happy to recommend a device that is right for you.