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Pulse oximetry is a test used to measure the oxygen level (oxygen saturation) of the blood. It is an easy, painless measure of how well oxygen is being sent to parts of your body furthest from your heart, such as the arms and legs.
A clip-like device called a probe is placed on a body part, such as a finger or ear lobe. The probe uses light to measure how much oxygen is in the blood. This information helps the healthcare provider decide if a person needs extra oxygen.
This is done using an oximeter, a photoelectric device specially designed for this purpose. A reusable probe can be placed on the finger or a single use tape probe is placed on the earlobe or finger.
Pulse oximetry may be used to see if there is enough oxygen in the blood. This information is needed in many kinds of situations. It may be used:
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