Up to date, expert answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) about oxygen supply systems, respiratory care and pulse oximetry written by OCC & collaborators.
How to use a pulse oximeter
How do I operate a pulse oximeter?
Different models of pulse oximeters will look slightly different and may have some variation, but many devices will operate in a similar way. The screen of the device will show a reading of the SpO2, the pulse rate, and often the waveform.
- If possible, first remove any nail polish and warm the hands if they are cold.
- Ensure that the probe is connected to the oximeter and that the device is charged.
- Power on the device, and then clip the probe onto the fingertip while keeping the patient’s hand still.
- After a few moments, the screen will display the SpO2.
- If the device shows a pleth, it is important to check that the waveform looks appropriate.
Many pulse oximeters also have buttons which allow the user to control alarm volume, screen display, and turn the device on and off. Now, the patient can continue to be monitored and checked for signs and symptoms of hypoxemia. It is always important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use if these are available. Finally, if the device does not seem to be working, try to troubleshoot the issue.
References: Lifebox Pulse Oximetry Learning Module
Keywords: how to use, instructions