NCOA Provides Pulse Oximeter Guidance for Consumers

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) has a new resource for consumers who use pulse oximeters.

Published in August, NCOA’s article, “How to Use a Pulse Oximeter to Check Oxygen Saturation Levels,” explains how the devices work to measure oxygen saturation of arterial blood.

The article also explains how to use a pulse oximeter, what different oximeter readings can mean, when to consult a doctor, and best practices for getting accurate results. The story is written with an emphasis on pulse oximeters used in home settings by patients or caregivers.

And the article links to research, such as a study, published in CHEST Journal, that found more pulse oximeter inaccuracies among Black patients than White patients.

Pulse oximeters, the article said, can be helpful monitoring devices for patients with a range of diagnoses, from asthma to blood clots, COPD, pneumonia, heart failure, and sleep apnea. The article concludes with a Frequently Asked Questions section with questions including, “How much does an at-home pulse oximeter cost?” and “How often should you test your blood oxygen levels?”


About the Author

Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at

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