The purpose of pulse oximetry is to see if your blood is well oxygenated.
Medical professionals may use pulse oximeters to monitor the health of people with conditions that affect blood oxygen levels, especially while they’re in the hospital.
These can include:
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
heart attack or heart failure
congenital heart disease
Doctors use pulse oximetry for a number of different reasons, including:
to assess how well a new lung medication is working
to evaluate whether someone needs help breathing
to evaluate how helpful a ventilator is
to monitor oxygen levels during or after surgical procedures that require sedation
to determine whether someone needs supplemental oxygen therapy
to determine how effective supplemental oxygen therapy is, especially when treatment is new
to assess someone’s ability to tolerate increased physical activity
to evaluate whether someone momentarily stops breathing while sleeping — like in cases of sleep apnea — during a sleep study