Pulse oximetry in primary care: factors affecting accuracy and interpretation
journal contributionposted on 2023-08-30, 19:55 authored by Paul Silverston, Marco Ferrari, Valentina Quaresima
The COVID-19 pandemic saw a rapid increase in the use of pulse oximetry devices (PODs) in primary care to triage and monitor large numbers of patients and to help decide which patients required admission to hospital. In the UK, this included providing 300 000 PODs to patients as part of the ‘virtual ward’ programme and there have been calls to extend the use of remote monitoring to patients with other medical conditions.1–3 However, the increased use of pulse oximetry has been accompanied by growing concern over the potential for PODs to produce inaccurate oxygen saturation (SpO2) readings and the effect that this could have on critical decisions regarding the management of patients. This article discusses the factors that can lead to inaccurate SpO2 readings and the implications that this could have for both GPs and patients.
Publication titleBritish Journal of General Practice
PublisherRoyal College of General Practitioners
- Accepted version