How to use a pulse oximeter? And get measurement of blood oxygen saturation.

Steps of using a pulse oximeter:

1. Select the appropriate pulse oximeter that fits your needs. Several different types of pulse oximeters are available. The most popular are portable handheld and fingertip pulse oximeters

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2. Wash hands. This will reduce transmission of microorganisms and body secretions. It is important that the nails are not too long, or with nail polish or with other types of cosmetics.

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3. Place the probe onto your finger or earlobe, and turn the oximeter on. Adequate arterial pulse strength is necessary for obtaining accurate SpO2 measurements.

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4. Your oxygen saturation level and pulse rate are displayed in seconds on a lighted display screen. A range of 95% to 100% is generally considered normal. If your oxygen level drops below 85% you should seek medical attention.

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Accurate  oxygen measurements by oximetry require a good blood flow through the tissues. When your fingers are cold, the blood flow is reduced and poor or abnormal readings are possible. Warming the hands by rubbing them together or with warm water helps improve blood flow.

Smoking reduces the amount of oxygen reaching your tissues while the oximeter will falsely suggest that oxygen level is satisfactory. You may be more short of breath when your oxygen is low, but oxygen alone may not fully not relieve shortness of breath. Exercise training and pulmonary rehabilitation are usually helpful in this situation.


Remember that this medical oximeter requires special maintenance to ensure proper operation and efficiency.

Do not hesitate to consult a specialist, because the user is not able to perform these maintenance, except for change of low batteries. Cleaning the surface before each use should be in the rules: only with alcohol, and after, let it dry in the open air. We must keep it in its protective shell, then in a dry and not wet with normal temperature if you do not use it. The best location is in the medicine cabinet or first aid kit well placed.