Basics of Oximetry Tests

In this post, we’ll look at eight basic facts about oximetry tests to help build a solid foundation of understanding around what these tests are used for.

1. Many Benefits
First of all, an oximetry test is commonly used because of its many benefits to both patients and doctors. They are non-invasive, cheap to buy and use, are compact, and detects conditions like hypoxemia earlier than other methods.

2. Using Light for Testing
Oximetry tests use light to determine oxygen saturation by emitting light sources, which goes across the probe and reaches the detector. When a patient puts his or her finger between the light and the detector, parts of light will be absorbed by the finger and not reach the detector.

3. Long Legacy
Testing oxygen saturation has been used since before WWII. Today, oximetry tests help monitor oxygen levels in blood for a wide span of health conditions.

4. Dark blood vs. Light blood
Arterial blood is bright red, as it is fully saturated and is full of oxygen. Venous blood is dark red, as it gets lower oxygen saturation as it travels to parts of the body.

5. Use in Anesthesia
Oximetry tests are vital to those undergoing anesthesia, as this process involves being unconscious. While unconscious, breathing is depressed, as is cardiac output and oxygen supply to tissues. Pulse oximeters can detect hypoxia.

6. Overnight Testing
Many insurance providers (like Medicare) require overnight oximetry testing for medical necessity. These can be conducted from a patient’s home, outside the typical hospital setting.

7. Coordination of Care
Oximetry results can be sent to a remote respiratory therapist for quick readings that speed up care coordination and reduce bottlenecking in the continuum of care.

8. Simple Finger Clip
Most often, the oximetry tests are conducted through a simple finger clip with that is hooked up to a screen that displays results. No blood has to be drawn—the clip just needs to remain on the patient’s finger with minimal pressure.

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Our overnight oximetry software is user friendly, timely and cost efficient for our clients. We are dedicated and passionate about providing outstanding customer service. Our oximetry software is completely free; this includes 24/7 access to our respiratory therapists and technical support staff.