Q. Why does the pulse oximeter not read my dad's recording properly?

Answered by
Dr. Lalit Bansal
and medically reviewed by Dr. Sneha Kannan
This is a premium question & answer published on May 15, 2020
Hi there,

We have just recently bought an oximeter and it’s reading very well for four people in our household. However with my Dad, it struggles to read his recordings. He also has a very up and down heart rate, varying from normal to really low. However, his blood pressure readings are fine. Thanks
# hello
I will help you regarding this
oximeter is working well when the flow rate in periphery is very good.
so in normal people it recorded the pulse and oxygen saturation very well
but in some people when flow to the fingers and toes is not good than it will not work
it is common in chronic smoker and old patients whose vessels are contracted. in these people pulse rate may be very low and high and it's is a false reading. this is the reason why hands and feet are cold in these people
I will suggest you to apply oximeter in loose skin of ear lobule which is hanging skin of ear
probably there oximeter will show correct reading.
get back to me if possible for any further advice
thanks

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