Clinical Skills: Pulse oximetry

What is pulse oximetry? Pulse oximetry is a non-invasive, easy way to measure the amount of arterial oxygenation (Sa02) in a patients who are hypoxic or have pulmonary problems that may affect their gas exchange.

Find our complete video library only on Osmosis Prime:

Hundreds of thousands of current & future clinicians learn by Osmosis. We have unparalleled tools and materials to prepare you to succeed in school, on board exams, and as a future clinician. Sign up for a free trial at

Subscribe to our Youtube channel at

Get early access to our upcoming video releases, practice questions, giveaways, and more when you follow us on social media:

Our Vision: Everyone who cares for someone will learn by Osmosis.
Our Mission: To empower the world’s clinicians and caregivers with the best learning experience possible. Learn more here:

Medical disclaimer: Knowledge Diffusion Inc (DBA Osmosis) does not provide medical advice. Osmosis and the content available on Osmosis’s properties (, YouTube, and other channels) do not provide a diagnosis or other recommendation for treatment and are not a substitute for the professional judgment of a healthcare professional in diagnosis and treatment of any person or animal. The determination of the need for medical services and the types of healthcare to be provided to a patient are decisions that should be made only by a physician or other licensed health care provider. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition.


Xem thêm bài viết khác:

  • Please make a video on ATLS

    Syed Ishtiaque Ahmed April 15, 2020 9:18 am Reply
  • ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️😌😌😌😌😌😌😌😌😌

    محمد الشمري April 15, 2020 9:18 am Reply
  • I have a smart watch – Garmin vivoactive 4S and it is capable of measuring pulse oximetry. I wanted to know how much you think it is reliable? I mean for normal population, not for patients, in everyday use, especially in this time of coronavirus pandemic. Because I heard low Sa02 might become a diagnostic sign of this disease. Thats why Im interested whether checking yourself with such a device might be useful.

    Ela DIvi April 15, 2020 9:18 am Reply
  • Why do we never use pulseox on thumb?

    Gaurav Sahu April 15, 2020 9:18 am Reply
  • Informative video

    DR.R.K. Paul April 15, 2020 9:18 am Reply
  • why can't you put sensor on the thumb?

    deep dark April 15, 2020 9:18 am Reply
  • 1 dangerous error, otherwise excellent and comprehensive synopsis. Finger sensors are transmittance technology (THROUGH the digit/body part to sensor on other side), and can give false high readings with a "perfect waveform" when placed flat on forehead. Nellcor brand (used in most of the hospitals I've worked for) has specifically produced education against this practice. Forehead sensors use reflectance, separate and NOT interchangeable concept (google the Nellcor Maxfast, its an adhesive oval with a headband to help hold in place).

    As an ED, ICU, and Rapid Response Team nurse I've seen many patients who had delay in care because the team was relying on falsely elevated readings from using finger sensors erroneously applied on forehead or not fitted well on earlobe. The "band-aid" type seen in the video CAN be used on earlobes IF: warm and well perfused, big enough to properly wrap around without smashing the skin (affecting blood flow to site), and sensor correctly aligned with the light. Works better with patients that do not have "attached" lobes. Even then be careful that both sides of sensor remain in direct contact with the skin. Air gaps can give false-high readings with "correct" waveforms. Please NEVER put a "wrap around" oximeter flat on a patient's skin. I have no clinical experience with nose placement, in 15 years of experience have never seen this (although I'm sure it happens), and as such cannot speak about it.

    If you are considering forehead or ear, use a probe specifically designed for this. The companies will not accept liability for patient injury/misdiagnosis from using their equipment outside of their designed use. Generally the use of "alternate" placement sites should be performed and interpreted within the ENTIRE clinical context by a seasoned healthcare provider. I see (and have myself made earlier in career TBH) a lot of mistakes in misinterpretation of readings, waveforms, etc. All oximeters need site rotation per manufacturers, even on adults, d/t risk of skin breakdown. Please always double check anything you are told, including this post, with an professional/authoritative reference. Read the entire user manual of any medical equipment you intend to use on a living being. Nellcor's can be found by googling "Nellcor Sensors Clinicians Manual". FYI: I am not endorsing Nellcor or any other brand, I just cannot address the use/limitations of brands I have not used extensively.

    Nellcor does not prohibit thumb placement in their user manual, again not sure about other brands. Just make sure the sensors dots line up.

    Thanks Osmosis for an overall pretty great educational video. Stay safe!

    Phil Kaiser April 15, 2020 9:18 am Reply
  • Why the thumb is excluded?

    seebat masrur April 15, 2020 9:18 am Reply
  • I wish my AW series 4 had this ability. 😔
    Our son has this on his watch and I check it frequently due to this COVID-19 pandemic.

    MAGA: Manipulating America’s Gullible Assholes April 15, 2020 9:18 am Reply
  • Important to know: the oxymeter can't distinguish CO from O2 saturation. Readings on people who inhaled smoke, firefighters, victims of fires, heavy smokers and other carbon monoxide intoxication victims will give a (erroneously) good O2 saturation, even if the patient is with a deadly low O2 saturation.

    Portuguese Man April 15, 2020 9:18 am Reply
  • Out of all the comments .. I wanted to tell you guys of osmosis . thank you .. For everything you do ❤

    اشرقت الراوي April 15, 2020 9:18 am Reply
  • Another reason why you might get inaccurate readings is if the patient is a smoker and has less peripheral blood flow. This can usually be solved by moving the sensor to the ear for example.

    TheImpiroGirl April 15, 2020 9:18 am Reply
  • Much appreciated
    Thanks please keep making this kind of videos

    Dr Siddh Fitness April 15, 2020 9:18 am Reply
  • Could there more videos for paediatric or neonatal related medicine? Thanking you

    bella April 15, 2020 9:18 am Reply
  • Thank you 😊

    bella April 15, 2020 9:18 am Reply
  • Why not on the thumb?

    Sbonga Nene April 15, 2020 9:18 am Reply
  • Sir plz upload a video on "cytokine storm" ASAP, as it is a trending topic right now due to covid19 ..thanks

    Su Ach April 15, 2020 9:18 am Reply
  • Thank you osmosis

    May Putra Daya April 15, 2020 9:18 am Reply
  • It would be helpful if u would hv covered principle of pulseoximeter. Advantages& disadvantages.

    Sweetie Verma April 15, 2020 9:18 am Reply
  • A nice peripherally COVID-19 related video! Refreshing from all the COVID-19 videos we have all been putting out!

    Whiteboard Doctor April 15, 2020 9:18 am Reply
  • Best vedio

    technical kabir April 15, 2020 9:18 am Reply
  • At 3:10, the baby's foot looks like a hand. Maybe it's a chimpanzee baby? They're very cute.

    mr. gecko April 15, 2020 9:18 am Reply
  • Can you suggest which brand and type of pulseoximeter i can use in day to day practices with precision.. opd+ipd basis.

    Pankaj Sharma April 15, 2020 9:18 am Reply
  • Amazing

    Pankaj Sharma April 15, 2020 9:18 am Reply
  • Can you make videos on blood cultures, NG tube, cannulation, chest drain, catheter etc please? These will be much appreciated at a time when doctors who may have been out of touch for a while are returning to help out along with medical students who are stepping up

    Sufi Buuaayy April 15, 2020 9:18 am Reply
  • Why not thumb?

    a wayfarer April 15, 2020 9:18 am Reply
  • Anyone know why it can be open over the forehead, but when it's on the finger, it's needed that the two sides match up across from each other? Why does it matter in one location, but not the other?

    Zanther Stone April 15, 2020 9:18 am Reply
  • Why shouldn't the probe be placed on the thumb?
    From what I've read, when other fingers fail to come up with a readable blood flow, the thumb turns out to be a good option.

    Marcos Germano April 15, 2020 9:18 am Reply
  • Amazing ❤❤❤😍😍🌸🌺

    Dr Nermeen April 15, 2020 9:18 am Reply
  • I have 70-80% score on Pulse Oximety thanks to Tricuspid Atresia

    Nia Louise April 15, 2020 9:18 am Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *