How is pulse oximetry performed in pulmonary function testing?

Updated: May 14, 2020
  • Author: Kevin McCarthy, RPFT; Chief Editor: Nader Kamangar, MD, FACP, FCCP, FCCM  more...
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Resting readings should be made for at least 5 minutes and the stability of the reading should be characterized on the report. If a finger probe is used when standing, the hand should be placed on the chest at the level of the heart to minimize venous pulsation which can falsely lower the reading. Correlation of the heart rate displayed on the oximeter with an ECG rate or a manually palpated pulse can help characterize the quality of the signal. Agreement within five or more beats per minute generally rules out significant motion artifact. Ideally, correlation of pulse oximetry saturation should be made with a measured oxygen saturation by multiple wavelength spectrophotometry on a simultaneously obtained arterial blood gas sample.

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