Added a couple of small tools to the household for Christmas.
The first was a gift to me. Last I looked, these were pricier than they are worth, at around $80, but my daughter found some on amazon for cheap cheap.
A Pulse Oximeter for less than $20. They come in a variety of colors (prices are slightly different for different colors; I have no idea why).
A lot has been written about how useful- or not- these are. There is merit to the concept that what they show doesn't change our treatment, so why bother, but I think they have some limited value in a couple of specific circumstances.
One is to show the response to being given Oxygen. It still doesn't change any treatment I would provide, but as one piece of information I can give to the providers I transfer care to, I think it is useful in a general impression.
The other is something that can happen out here.
Sometimes, I'm on scene before the rescue. I have a limited amount of my own equipment, so I can take vitals, but I don't have any Oxygen to give. In a situation where I can't really provide much in the way of treatment, the more information I can give the medics when they show up, the better, I think. Especially if it changes significantly, which mostly it won't.
But mostly, it's a cool toy to play with at home, really. It shows SpO2 and a pulse rate, and we're having a good time seeing if we can alter the pulse rate on purpose, and seeing what different things make it change the most. We've also been trying to see how long you'd have to hold your breath to get the SpO2 reading to go down. We don't have a job where we spend any time hanging out in or near an ambulance, waiting for a call, so we have very limited access to the equipment on our Rescue, or I'm sure we would have already played enough. The fun will probably wear off in a week or so, but for now...
What I'd really like, of course, is a capnometer, but that's still a bit out of my price range. Like a LOT.
The other tool is a little thing I saw at Home Depot and couldn't resist getting.
It's a Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer.
Amazon lists it at $50, the price I just saw was $30, but I got it on sale for $20.
It's like the baby, baby brother of a thermal imaging camera.
A little, anyway.
Really, it's a heat detector. No image, but a laser pointer with a digital readout of the temperature.
It reads temperatures from -4 to 600 degrees F.
In a pinch, it might not be a bad tool.
I've already found a couple of fun things to use it for at home. One was when I overheated the pan I was cooking French Toast in. Recipes actually specify a temperature for frying things, but there isn't usually a way to know what temperature a pan is. There is now. It was also interesting to see the temperature variations on different parts of the pan.
Anything new in your house?