Pulse oximetry is a noninvasive and painless test that measures your oxygen saturation level, or the oxygen levels in your blood. It can rapidly detect even small changes in how efficiently oxygen is being carried to the extremities furthest from the heart, including the legs and the arms.
The pulse oximeter is a small, clip-like device that attaches to a body part, like toes or an earlobe. It’s most commonly put on a finger, and it’s often used in a critical care setting like emergency rooms or hospitals. Some doctors, such as pulmonologists, may use it in office.
The purpose of pulse oximetry is to check how well your heart is pumping oxygen through your body.