Benefits of Overnight Home Oximetry

A recent survey on LinkedIn asked physicians and medical experts what they thought the benefits of overnight home oximetry were. Their responses shed some interesting light on how this test can have a major ripple effect on healthcare.

Follow up for CPAP and screen for HST

“Overnight oximetry can be used as follow-up for patients on CPAP therapy at medium to high pressures to screen for Central Apnea events not detected by current CPAP devices. It could also be used as a pre screen for HST or sleep lab testing for potential apnea patients. We can with high degree of certainty visually identify apnea candidates, but we also can visually ignore those that do indeed have CA or OSA and do not visually fit the profile of an OSA patient.” –Steve Knight CRT, RCP

Medical Springboard

“The physicians in our practice counted on me to use oximetry readings as a springboard from which to speak to patients about their night time status. It is a fantastic teaching tool. First of all, there isn't a person alive who has diseases of the sort that produce low saturations at night who can hold their breath long enough to produce the same drops while awake. It is always good to elicit a visceral response to something when trying to teach, and the breath hold is a way to bring the oximetry readings into an understandable environment for the patient.” – Thomas Mayer

Home Therapy Assessment

At its most basic level, the majority of the time physicians order overnight oximetry tests to assess for nocturnal desaturation to determine if a patient is a candidate for home oxygen therapy. There are of course other applications but it is generally used to document significant hypoxemia, which in correlation with clinical assessment would be used to qualify (or re-qualify) a patient for oxygen therapy. The benefit of using overnight oximetry would be to identify patients with significant hypoxemia (unrelated to sleep apnea) whose quality of life might improve with the additional of oxygen therapy.” – Christian Kiely

Crowded Sleep Labs

“I could also see sleep docs using overnight oximetry as a pre-screen for a lab that was backed up.” –Steve Knight CRT, RCP

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