Pulse oximetry

What is pulse oximetry?

Pulse oximetry measures the level of oxygen saturation in haemoglobin, meaning the amount of oxygen being transported by the blood.

The method consists of attaching a sensor to the finger or ear lobe. The device emits red and infrared light to determine the variations in absorption taking place in the haemoglobin.

It is used in cases where constant monitoring or tracking of blood oxygen levels is required (in oxygen therapy, mechanical ventilation, general anaesthesia, etc.) and is indicated for adults, children and babies in hospital, outpatient and home settings.

Types of pulse oximeter

Various types of pulse oximeters are available. The prescribing clinician will decide which one should be used.


SOFT sensor

EAR-CLIP sensor


Pulse oximeter troubleshooting

Problem Cause Solution
The pulse oximeter will not turn on. The batteries have run out. Replace the batteries.
The batteries are installed incorrectly. Check they are positioned properly.
The metal contact is missing on the lid of the battery compartment. Get in touch with OXIGEN salud.
The screen keeps turning on and off again every second. The batteries are running out. Replace the batteries.
The batteries are installed incorrectly. Check they are positioned properly.
There is a SpO2 or heart rate alert. Examine the patient (they may need medical assistance).
There is a dash on the screen instead of the SpO2 value. There is a fault with the sensor. Make sure the sensor is connected. If it is, try another sensor.
The sensor is not connected to the device or to the patient.
The perfusion signal is poor (erratic values or colour code, depending on the model). The patient’s pulse is weak. Examine the patient and reattach the sensor somewhere else.
The perfusion is poor where the sensor is currently attached.
The sensor is not positioned correctly.
The sensor is too tight. Remove the sensor and reposition it so that it is not as tight.
Too much light in the room. Reduce the amount of light in the room.
Patient moving too much. Get the patient to move less.
The sensor is placed on a polished nail. Remove the nail polish.
Interference from other equipment. Move away any equipment that could cause interference.

CPR in children and adults

If the patient is unconscious and is not breathing, call the emergency services number (112) and begin CPR.

Give cycles of:

  • 30 chest compressions, at a rate of 100 per minute, pushing down 5 cm on the breastbone with both hands.
  • 2 breaths lasting one second each, using the normal volume of the resuscitator (bag valve mask).

Pulse oximetry resources

Contact us

24-hour customer support

900 80 80 89 Request Appointment

Other home respiratory therapies

Aerosol therapy

It is a therapy that delivers medicines by inhaling so that they quickly reach the lungs.
Learn more

Obstructive sleep apnoea

OSA is the most frequent sleep-related breathing disorder.
Learn more

Airway suctioning

Some conditions cause the accumulation of secretions that the patient is unable to cough up.
Learn more

Airway clearance

Therapy for patients unable to expel their pulmonary secretions.
Learn more

Chest physiotherapy

Interdisciplinary intervention and fundamental clinical treatment of some patients with respiratory diseases.
Learn more

Home apnoea monitor for babies

Prevention method of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Learn more

Oxygen therapy

It consists of administering oxygen at a higher concentration than it is found in the air (21 %) to treat hypoxia.
Learn more

Mechanical ventilation

A treatment that mechanically assists or substitutes the breathing of the patient through electromedical ventilators.
Learn more

Other therapies

OXIGEN salud also offers other therapies like carboxytherapy, heliotherapy, etc.
Learn more

OXIGEN Salud is responsible for data processing, with the purpose of managing queries and requests. You can exercise your data protection rights by sending an e-mail to dpo@oxigensalud.com.

We use Cookies

We use our own and third-party cookies for technical purposes, analysis and for advertising personalization. More information.