Different Types of Error in Oximeter and the ways to get Accurate Results | Pulse Oximeters - Articles | Scoop.it

Oximeters are devices that are used to measure the level of oxygen in blood and pulse rate of the heart. These devices are compact in size and it can be carried anywhere without much difficulty, it comes handy during emergency and can saves the life of persons in critical condition. A best Pulse oximeter will not cause any problems except in the rarest case.


Like every device oximeter also has its own limitations, there are few common errors that usually occur. If you are aware of the factors that causes errors then you can avoid it and get accurate results.


Cold hands


Hands should be warm before taking readings and cold hands cannot provide accurate results. Try to rub both the hands and make them warmer and this would help to increase the flow of blood and provide you accurate results.


Ambient light


As the internal components of a pulse oximeter are made up of electronic components and sensors, Infrared lamps and other ambient light can interfere with the output value. While using pulse oximeter make sure to keep away all these type of lights.


Nail Polish


If there is nail polish in your finger then the sensor cannot deduct the correct percentage of oxygen in the blood. Try to remove it with a nail polish remover as it can help you to get accurate readings.




Vibration from other device or shaking the hand or leg while using a fingertip pulse oximeter can alter the readings. So try to avoid moving or shaking while taking readings.


Intravascular dyes


In case if the person has used intravascular dyes like methylthioninium chloride then it can cause false readings. In case if any dye has been injected then you need to wait for some time until the effect of the dye goes away from blood.


In case if you think you are getting false readings, you can follow the below rules.


Change the site of probe


If there is no proper flow of blood then the device cannot give you accurate results. For instance, if you are fixing the probe in the ear lobe and if you feel the results are not accurate then you can change the place of the probe and fix it either to the finger or to the bottom sole of the leg.


Try a different probe


In case if there is any problem in the probe then it won’t give you accurate readings. The best thing to overcome the errors is to change the probe on a regular basis.


Apply cream over the area


It is good to apply some topical vasodilator cream on the area before fixing the probe. Glyceryl trinitrate (GTN) cream is one of the best creams to apply before using the pulse oximeter probe.


Author Bio:


Fingertip pulse oximeter provides accurate readings and you can know more about different types of Oximeter at the author’s website: Pulseoximetersplus.com