What is Perfusion Index (PI)?

When we look at a saturation meter, we quickly think of oxygen saturation (SpO2 %). It shows the saturation of the oxygen in the blood. However, the blood flow (perfusion) is also important. We see the PI value on more and more saturation meters. Especially at the professional oximeters. But what is perfusion?

The perfusion index, also called PI, is a numerical value that indicates the state and strength of blood flow. The perfusion can be between 0,02 and 20%. A higher value indicates that the blood flow is stronger. A lower value indicates that there is little blood flow. As with measuring saturation, the PI fluctuates considerably. It is therefore important to measure regularly so that an average can be calculated.

What is a healthy perfusion?

A healthy perfusion index varies from person to person. But on average, this should go towards 20%. As a result, there is a powerful blood flow which is healthy for the body. If the perfusion index is very low, the measurement may not always be reliable. Especially if the measured PI value is below 0,05. Then a pulse that is difficult to measure is measured.


Why is PI index important?

By measuring the blood flow (PI) and the saturation, it can be determined whether the lungs, in combination with the blood circulation, are functioning properly. With a higher PI value, there is a larger and more powerful circulation. With a low PI value, there is low blood flow which can cause problems for people with lung-related conditions.

It is important to measure oxygen saturation correctly and reliably. This is only possible if the perfusion is large enough. The perfusion index must then be greater than 0,4. If the perfusion is lower, the pulse oximeter reading is not reliable.


How can you measure perfusion?

The perfusion can be measured with various saturation meters. Unfortunately, this is not on all meters. The PI index is often visible with the professional oximeters. This is how we offer the ChoiceMMed MD300CI216 professional pulse oximeter at. In addition to saturation (SpO2%), this meter also displays heart rate and perfusion index.

Another excellent model is the iHealth Air Smart Saturation Meter. Although this pulse meter does not show the PI index on the screen, it does show it in the free iHealth MyVitals app. This saturation meter is also used in various Dutch hospitals!


Personal and expert advice on saturation meters

We offer various oximeters in our range that can measure the PI index. For personal and expert advice, please do not hesitate to contact us 0182 – 239393 or by email at info@bloodpressuremonitor.shop.

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