Pulse oximetry is a non-invasive method to monitor oxygenation of a person’s hemoglobin (the oxygen-transporting substance in blood).
What to Expect
A sensor will be placed on a thin part of your anatomy, usually a fingertip, and a light containing both red and infrared wavelengths is passed from one side to the other. Changing absorbance of each of the two wavelengths is measured from the pulsing arterial blood, providing a measure of oxygenation.
Why It Is Done
Pulse oximetry data is necessary whenever a patient's oxygenation is unstable, which is often the case in the intensive care, critical care, and emergency department areas of a hospital.