How It Works

HOW PULSE OXIMETRY WORKS

A pulse oximeter is a portable, easy-to-use, battery-operated medical device that measures the oxygen saturation of a patient’s blood without the need for a blood sample. If a primary care physician suspects a patient has low oxygen levels during sleep, they can order an overnight pulse oximetry test. AAA Medical Solutions first validates and preps the documentation for the test. The DME provider then delivers the pulse oximeter to the patient’s door, and picks it up the next day to upload the results to AAA.

A Micro View of Pulse Oximetry:

The color of blood varies depending on the amount of oxygen it contains. In pulse oximetry, a two-sided probe transmits red and infrared light through the body tissue, usually a fingertip. The tissue between the probe absorbs the majority of the light, but sensors on the other side detect the small amount of light that makes it through. This minute light reading is used to measure oxygen saturation.

So what does oxygen saturation mean to the patient? A healthy person will normally have oxygen saturation between 95% and 100%. Between 90% and 95% is tolerable, but when levels drop below 90%, a patient may need oxygen treatment to prevent serious problems.

Find out how to get tested