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What happens during a pulse oximetry test?

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Your nurse will put a small, clip-like device called a pulse oximeter on your finger, toe, or ear. Or they'll put a sticky disposable probe on your finger, nose, toe, or forehead.

The pulse oximeter uses a special type of light to see how much oxygen is in the red blood cells traveling through the blood vessels under your skin.

The test is painless and quick.

SOURCES:

American Lung Association: "Pulse Oximetry."

American Society of Hematology: "Blood Basics."

American Thoracic Society: "Pulse Oximetry."

CHOC Children's: "Pulse Oximetry (Pulse Ox)."

Johns Hopkins Medicine: "Pulse Oximetry."

University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital: "Pulse oximetry."

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on July 11, 2019

SOURCES:

American Lung Association: "Pulse Oximetry."

American Society of Hematology: "Blood Basics."

American Thoracic Society: "Pulse Oximetry."

CHOC Children's: "Pulse Oximetry (Pulse Ox)."

Johns Hopkins Medicine: "Pulse Oximetry."

University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital: "Pulse oximetry."

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on July 11, 2019

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How do I prepare for a pulse oximetry test?

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