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Pulse Oximeter Abuse
Hello All, After my diagnosis of mild OSA, I decided to use a MAD instead of the cpap for now and it seems to be helping. I have decided that I am going to order another in home test (out of pocket) with 9 channels being recorded so I can get a better sense of what OSA I really have (from standard in home test). Now on to my question, As a result of all this, I have become a bit over obsessed with using the pulse oximeter and have gotten used to checking it whenever I feel run down. My average daily is 97%, but I have noticed sudden drops during the day and evening where it reads as low as 92 then jumps back up to 98. Is this something to be concerned about, or am I using the pulse oximeter for the wrong reasons. I try to use it at night but it is so unreliable (contec cms 50D+) when it comes to dowloading to my mac that I give up. Anyway, main question is, how accurate are the pulse oximeters and is it normal to see daily dips to 92% or 93% for a few seconds then have it jump back up. At night with my MAD I average 95% during most of the day, my readings are 96%-98%. I think I have become too obsessed with checking mu spo2 and suddenly get very nervous when I see drops. I never even looked at a pulse oximiter once or cared before being diagnosed with OSA. Thoughts?
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HI Daso, Your SPo2 at an average of 97% would be a lot higher than most members of this forum. Most of us would love to have that reading. My sleep doc tells me that anywhere between 92% & say 97% is fine and a SDB patient can get by quite well with these levels. Remember what we measure with the oximeter probe is spo2, "skin pressure" & not paO2 which is arterial pressure & there is a difference! It is when your SPO2 drops below 88% (the red line of the oximeter's readout), that you need to become concerned. Of course the length of time in these drops needs to be carefully monitored too.
It's how you feel that's important. If you don't feel well in the mornings and have daytime sleepiness - you should have a PSG (polysomnograph) or sleep study right away. In short, don't worry too much about your spo2 readings, just keep a watch on how you feel when you wake each morning. Good luck
[Image: signature.png]Keep on breathin'
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I have several different CMS-50 models. All of them correlate to each other in displayed results, as well as my doctor's oximeter. I've found that all of them will respond to sudden movements, thus effecting the reading. If you could download the data, you'd probably see spikes in both directions along the recorded data stream. I would refer to these spikes as outliers, and disregard them. Can you not run your Mac in a virtual Windows mode so you can try downloading the data for review? Trying to make an assumption on spot readings isn't going to yield anything other than you're alive and your O2 levels are in the 90's.

Good Luck!
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Thank you both for the replies. I have scheduled (out of pocket) home sleep test (not the three channel) but with all the leads for eeg position etc and will do a baseline one as well as one with the MAD. Thank you for your input on the pulse oximeter, I am definitely looking at it too much and need to put in in the drawer unless I plan to use it to track a nights sleep. Sgearheart, my issue with the cms 50 isn't the reading but rather it's a 50/50 crapshoot that when I (Try) to download the nights readings to my mac with sleepyhead that I connect it and start the download process (by attaching and shutting off record function) that half the time sleepyhead can't connect and won't after numerous tries then the data is gone. The other half of the time it connects and downloads. I've also been unable to get sleepyhead to give a date to a reading other than dec 31 1999, so I have to delete any existing records then download it then make sure there are no conflicts. Not an easy process at all. I'm thinking about getting the bluetooth version and trying to do real time transmition to my mac. For now, I'm hoping that the results of my upcoming better home sleep study will shed some light on to what extend I really have OSA (or not). My original diagnosis with the 3 channel home test was an AHI of 6 .
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Here is a recent thread that references your problem about the D+ several posts down in the thread.


Good Luck!
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