Posts Tagged ‘oximeter’

John’s Troubleshooting Tip of the Month: Oximeter Probe Placement

Monday, April 4th, 2011

PHS understands how stressful it can be when a piece of equipment isn’t working properly, and we want to help resolve any issues as soon as possible for you. So, once a month, PHS Respiratory Therapist, John Sheahan will post a tip on how to troubleshoot a common error with a piece of equipment.

An oximeter is a monitor that indicates the level of oxygen in the blood.  Oximeters are one of the most important monitors in the home, but they are also one of the most sensitive.  To help ensure best results and minimize false readings proper probe placement is essential. Follow these placement tips below and be sure to contact your PHS respiratory therapist if you have further questions.

Probe Placement Tips

  1. Make sure the red light is on top part of nail bed. NOTE: Fingernail polish should be removed from the finger or toe being used. If prove is being placed on a foot, make sure the red light is placed on the pinky side of foot.
  2. Line up the receiving dot so it is opposite to red light.
  3. Wrap the probe securely, but not too tightly, around a finger or foot. NOTE: If wrap is too tight, blood flow may affect oximeter reading. You can use tape to better secure the probe.
  4. If probe is on a toe or foot, cover the foot with a sock to help the foot stay warm and to reduce the chance of the probe becoming loose. Probes that becomes loose may give off inaccurate readings.

oximeter temperature probe light and receiving dottemperature probe placement red light on top of nail bedtemperature probe red light under finger or toe

IMPORTANT! For your child’s comfort, move the probe site every 4 hours to reduce skin irritation.

John Sheahan, RRT-NPS, LRTJohn Sheahan, RRT-NPS, LRT is a Licensed Respiratory Therapist at PHS and would love to hear from you if you have a tip that you’ve found helps when working with your equipment, or have an idea for a Troubleshooting Tip post. Share your tip or idea through a comment here or an email to John at