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Oximetry (also known as pulse oximetry) is a relatively simple method of determining the blood oxygen saturation without utilizing the arterial puncture required by arterial blood gas analysis. This test is done using a finger or ear probe that detects the pulsatile arterial blood flow. By looking at the wavelength of light absorbed, the pulse oximeter can distinguish oxygenated blood from non-oxygenated blood. The result is reported as an oxygen saturation, which shows the percentage of the hemoglobin in the blood cells occupied by oxygen. The normal value is usually greater than approximately 92%.

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