Concept

Pulse oximetry

Summary
Pulse oximetry is a noninvasive method for monitoring a person's blood oxygen saturation. Peripheral oxygen saturation (SpO2) readings are typically within 2% accuracy (within 4% accuracy in 95% of cases) of the more accurate (and invasive) reading of arterial oxygen saturation (SaO2) from arterial blood gas analysis. But the two are correlated well enough that the safe, convenient, noninvasive, inexpensive pulse oximetry method is valuable for measuring oxygen saturation in clinical use. The most common approach is transmissive pulse oximetry. In this approach, a sensor device is placed on a thin part of the patient's body, usually a fingertip or earlobe, or an infant's foot. Fingertips and earlobes have higher blood flow rates than other tissues, which facilitates heat transfer. The device passes two wavelengths of light through the body part to a photodetector. It measures the changing absorbance at each of the wavelengths, allowing it to determine the ab
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