P_CIG_09 Use of Pulse Oximetry in Adults

Pulse oximetry is a non-invasive method of monitoring patient oxygenation where physiological variation in oxygen saturations is poorly detected by clinical means alone.  It provides an estimation of arterial oxyhaemoglobin saturation (SaO2) by utilizing selected wavelengths of light to non-invasively determine the saturation of oxyhaemoglobin (SpO2).  Pulse oximetry can be monitored using either a digital fingertip device, hand held device or via the pulse oximetry element of an electronic blood pressure monitoring system.

The purpose of these guidelines is to provide a framework for safe practice and guidance to registered and unregistered staff undertaking pulse oximetry to adult patients in community settings.

This policy should be read in conjunction with:

CQC Essential Standards of Quality and Safety

LCHS Medical Devices Policy January 2012

LCHS Medical Devices Manual - Guidelines & Procedures for Best Practice December 2009

LCHS Clinical Guideline Decontamination of Equipment February 2011      

NICE COPD Guidelines June 2010

British Thoracic Society Guideline for Emergency Oxygen Use in Adult Patients 2008

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