What is overnight pulse oximetry?
Overnight pulse oximetry is a test designed to monitor your blood oxygen and heart rate. It assesses your breathing when you are asleep.
You will need to use this machine at home for one or two nights
You will be advised when you collect the oximetry machine how many nights you will need to use it for
Why do I need to have this test?
Your healthcare professional has asked you to have this test to check you are taking in enough oxygen when you are asleep.
How does it work?
You will need to wear a monitor on your wrist and a soft probe on your index or middle finger while you are asleep.
This probe shines an infrared light through your fingernail, this light measures the oxygen in your blood. There are no known risks or pain associated with this test.
- Patients should not consume any alcohol on the day or night of the test
- Patients should not wear: nail varnish, false nails, acrylics or gel polish on the nails on the night of the test, as the machine does not work if nail varnish is in place.
Frequently asked questions:
Will I experience any side effects or discomfort?
There are no known discomfort or side effects associated with this test.
When will I need to stop my medication?
Please continue to take your regular medications and undertake your usual night time routine.
What happens during the test?
An appointment will be arranged for you to collect a loaned overnight oximetry machine. One of our team will explain the test to you and advise you when the machine needs to be returned.
You will also be given questionnaires which you will need complete during your sleep study. This helps us to understand your sleep pattern during the test and helps with making the right diagnosis.
What happens after my sleep study?
Once you have returned the Oximetry machine to the department, your test recordings and results from your questionnaire will be viewed and assessed by a Clinical Scientist. Your results must be of good diagnostic quality.
If your results are of good diagnostic quality, you will be placed on the waiting list to see the Sleep medicine specialist. Sometimes the sleep study needs repeating and another appointment will be made for you to have the overnight home oximetry test repeated.
Driving and sleepiness – what the DVLA say
Please note it is your own responsibility as a driver NOT to drive if you feel sleepy or are unable to remain alert and focused whilst controlling a motor vehicle.
If you feel your sleep is affecting your ability to drive safely, please ensure you arrange a different mode of travel either to work or for social activities.
If you have any questions or require any further information, please contact the Sleep Clinic on:
- Telephone: 01642 850850
- Email: [email protected]
Useful websites around sleep and sleepiness
Here are some useful web links for further information around sleep health and sleepiness
- Visit the gov.uk website
- Visit the BSS British Sleep Society website
- Visit the NHS website
South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust would like your feedback. If you wish to share your experience about your care and treatment or on behalf of a patient, please contact The Patient Experience Department who will advise you on how best to do this.
This service is based at The James Cook University Hospital but also covers the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton, our community hospitals and community health services.
To ensure we meet your communication needs please inform the Patient Experience Department of any special requirements, for example; braille or large print.
T: 01642 835964
E: [email protected]