NASCAR Use of Pulse Oximeter

NASCAR racing has turned into a world wide phenomenon, with exhibition races in Canada, Mexico, Australia, and Japan. NASCAR, which stands for the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing was originally founded by Bill France Sr. back in 1947. NASCAR events are held over 1400 races at over 100 different race tracks throughout the United States and Canada. As one of the most viewed professional sporting events based on televised ratings throughout the United States, there are over 70 million fans, among which spend over $3 billion in annual product sales. Internationally, there are over 150 counties broadcasting the races. With these kind of numbers, NASCAR can very well be considered not only a national pastime, but a global event. Even the likes of Toyota automotive is entering into the races once strictly dominated by the big three, being Chevrolet, Ford, and Dodge automotive companies.

With such a strong following and not only national, but global following, NASCAR will always be highly monitored for driver safety and well being. It is no doubt many fans enjoy the spectacle of a major crash during a race, or the heated rivalry amongst the different teams and drivers. However one aspect that everyone can agree to, whether it’s Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Jimmy Johnson, or Tony Stewart along with the rest of the drivers, is their own safety while out on the track during practice or a race. Many dangers are possible when traveling in excess of 150 miles per hour. The slightest mistake can be life or death for any of the drivers, and in certain circumstances, even the spectators with some extreme crashes in the past.

Although the sport will never be rid of dangerous crashes and potential loss of life, which is inherent when traveling as such high speeds, one innovative product can be and is currently used to monitor the driver’s vital signs. This product is the finger pulse oximeter, otherwise known as a pulse ox by medical professionals. The pulse oximeter is a small, portable device that measures the pulse rate, and blood oxygen saturation percentage (also referred to as SpO2) through either your fingertip or earlobe. Many racing teams use an oximeter to help monitor the driver’s blood oxygen saturation to make sure the driver is in ideal conditioning. If any signs are off by the racer, then he or she may need to be removed or switched out not only for the safety of the remaining racers, but for their own well being. For the continued success of the sport, it is critical all drivers to be closely monitored for their physical well being.

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