Pulse oximetry primer

For health care providers to make a correct diagnosis, they must be equipped with the right tools, including access to pulse oximetry. These devices are essential for alerting health workers to hypoxemia and the need for urgent treatment, including referral to higher-level facilities and access to oxygen, which can be lifesaving.

Lacking these important devices and depending on clinical signs alone, frontline health care providers may be less likely to identify all patients who have hypoxemia and require immediate medical attention. When danger signs are overlooked or not adequately addressed, lives are at risk.

This primer is a summary of resources to help decision-makers, implementers, and advocates understand the planning, policies, and technologies involved in pulse oximetry scale-up.

Publication date: May 2024

Available materials

  1. English

    1. Pulse oximetry primer (PDF version) 1.9 MB PDF
  2. English

    1. Pulse oximetry primer (digital version)