Pulse oximeter on a finger tip. Pulse oximeter on a finger tip.

Presenting the Proactive Finger Pulse Oximeter

Ideal for use in multiple applications; hospital, nursing home, community medical treatment, home care, sports center, etc.

Pulse Oximeters

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What is a Pulse Oximeter?

Pulse oximeters are small devices placed on the fingertip to measure oxygen saturation in the blood (often referred to as SpO2). These devices are most often used to help detect heart, respiratory and other diseases, as well as monitor oxygen levels during exertion for better athletic performance, and oxygen levels of various hospital patients. A “normal” oxygen saturation range is between 95 to 99% at sea level.

While attached to the fingertip, the pulse oximeter uses wavelengths of both red and infrared light to measure the light’s absorption by the blood. Red and infrared light are absorbed differently depending on how much oxygen is present in the bloodstream. The pulse oximeter reads these absorption levels and converts it to an SpO2 level to display. 


Frequently Asked Pulse Oximeter Questions

Which fingertip pulse oximeter is best for me?

As with any medical question, it is always best to check first with your doctor before you purchase an oximeter. Besides fingertip pulse oximeters, there are other types and one of these may better meet your goals. Fingertip oximeters are best if you want to check your oxygen levels periodically, but if you require continuous oxygen saturation monitoring, an oximeter specifically designed for this will work better. Additionally, there are various options that not all fingertip oximeters offer. You will want to check to see if these are important to your care before purchasing:

  • Warning light to indicate possible inaccuracy of the reading.
  • Audible alarm when low oxygen saturation is detected.
  • Screen display sizes vary. Choose one you can easily read.
  • Check the battery life and durability especially if you are planning to use it to continuously monitor oxygen saturation while exercising, flying or traveling
  • Check the warranty and return policy.

How does the fingertip pulse oximeter work?

The device is placed over a fingertip and small beams of light are passed very quickly through the finger, resulting in the ability to measure the oxygen saturation level of the blood accurately.

Which finger is best to place the pulse oximeter?

The most commonly used fingers are the index, middle and ring fingers.

How accurate are Fingertip pulse oximeters?

According to the American Thoracic Society, fingertip pulse oximeters are reasonably accurate and provide a reading that is within 2% of an arterial blood gas test.

What is a normal reading on a Fingertip pulse oximeter?

Normal blood oxygen saturation is between 95-99%.

What are the two numbers on a pulse oximeter?

Most fingertip pulse oximeters show pulse rate and oxygen saturation percentage levels.

What is a dangerous pulse oxygen level?

Any reading below 90% would indicate that supplemental oxygen should be administered.

What is the lowest oxygen level you can live with?

Some patients live with blood oxygen levels as low as 90%. Oxygen levels below 88% should be reported to your physician and supplemental oxygen should be provided. Anything below 80% can be fatal.

What type of payment methods does The CPAP Shop accept?

The CPAP Shop accepts credit and debit payments, as well as monthly financing via Bread.

Is there a warranty on fingertip pulse oximeters?

The CPAP Shop honors all manufacturer warranties on pulse oximeters.

What if my fingertip pulse oximeter does not work out for me?

The CPAP Shop does not accept returns on pulse oximeters. Read our return policy for further details.

How do you read a pulse oximeter?

Normal ranges are between 95-99% oxygen saturation. The screen will display both oxygen saturation and pulse rate.

Do fingertip pulse oximeters ship free?

The CPAP Shop ships all domestic orders over $99 for free. In addition, we often run shipping promotions.

Does insurance cover my fingertip pulse oximeter?

The CPAP Shop does not work with insurance companies. However, you may submit a receipt to your insurance independently. We recommend that you check with your individual insurance provider to determine whether fingertip pulse oximeters are covered under your plan.

Do you have any pulse oximeter resources available?

Yes. Check out our pulse oximeter and CPAP therapy blog post.