How To Use A Pulse Oximeter? Step By Step Guidance

After the pandemic, Pulse OX or Pulse Oximeter has become the 2nd most important gadget after the smartphone. Well, the device can show the wrong reading of SpO2 if you use them inaccurately. On this page, we have demonstrated how to use Pulse Oximeter accurately. Using the step-by-step guide, you can check your blood oxygen saturation level in a few seconds with the most probable accuracy.

Before jumping right into the steps, let’s take a quick definition of Pulse OX.

Pulse Oximeter is a clip-like device, made with 1 display, RED-infrared LEDs, 1 button, and a display. It measures Oxygen Saturation Level/ SpO2 Level in your Arterial Blood from Fingertip, Ear lobe (babies).

To Check the SpO2 Level you need to follow the steps below:

#1: Warm Up Your Fingers

Before taking the test, warm up your fingers by stretching out and in several times. Thus the blood flow takes place properly.

#2: Open The Device Clip

Press the back head of the oximeter and Press it to open the clip. Inside the probe, you can see an LED on the bottom surface.

#3: Put Your Finger Right On The LEDs

It is highly important to put your fingers on the LEDs to get proper readings. Place your finger right on the LED and close the clip.

Best Finger To Check SpO2

fingers to check SpO2

During checking blood oxygen saturation level, it would be best if you use the middle and the forefinger for best readings. Earlobe, the foot is used to check Spo2 levels for infants.

Let’s take a look at the picture here.

how to use Pulse Oximeter

#4: Press The Measuring Button And Wait

To start measuring your SpO2 level you need to press the button on the device. After pressing it you can see the oximeter is calculating. Wait for 5-8 Seconds.

Related: How smartwatches check blood oxygen level

#5: Check The Readings On The Display

After a few minutes, you can see the calculated Spo2 readings are visible on the device display. Now, there are 2 different readings you can see on the display. People often got confused with these two readings.

Here is a demonstration for you.

What Are The 2 Readings of Pulse OX?

There are 2 main readings available in the Pulse Oximeter: SpO2 level(%), and the Pulse rate(bpm).

On the display, you can see both readings side by side. the SpO2 level is represented in percentage and Pulse OX in bpm: Beat Per Minute.

Related: the difference between SpO2 and SaO2

What Are The Normal Ranges Of Spo2 and Pulse Rate?

Range Or StateOxygen Saturation LevelPulse Rate
Normal 96% and more40-100
Acceptable In Home94%-96%101-109
Consult With Doctor92%-94%110-130
Immediate Medical SupportLess Than 92%131+

In the usual manner, the SpO2 level is a percentage that represents the blood saturation in your Blood. The normal Blood Oxygen Level in human Blood is 96%-100%.

However, the level differs depending on various conditions. Anything Below 94% is a matter of concern. In that case, the patient must talk with doctors about the condition.

COPD disease can decrease the SpO2 level below 88%-92%. The patient would affect by Hypoxia.

SpO2 level can change with the change in Altitude. All these changes control the health and energy in your body.


Before checking the SpO2 Level there are 2 important steps you should do to check accurate readings.

First of all, make sure you must place the batteries properly. After that calibrate the device by checking the readings 1-2 times before the final checkups.

Here are some basic parts of an Oximeter:

components of Oximeter

Hope you have got all your answers. If you have anything to ask you visit our YouTube or other social communities and join us.

Have a Nice A Day.