Precautions/Checklist while doing pulse oximetry :

1. Check spo2 after 15 minutes of rest

2. Hands should be warm. Low temperature may decrease the capillary perfusion leading to false low values

3. Use right middle finger or right thumb

4. Pulse oximetry should not be done under direct light like sunlight or OT light

5. Duration of finger contact should be a minimum of 15 to 30 seconds before making a judgement

6. Nail should be facing the light source of the pulse oximeter

7. Nail should be directly under the pulse oximeter light

8. Pulse oximeter can give an error of +/- 2%. So if someone is having 94%, then it can be 92-96%

9. If you think, spo2 is too low, then think of following causes :

A – Airway

B – Breathing

C – Circulation

D – Drugs

E – Equipment

Further comments are welcome


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