Blood sats versus clinical exam


Q: My son 31 mths has GORD & Asthma

4 days ago his blood sats were 90%. GP said clinical ok so blood sats must be wrong. is this possible?

His twin also tested on the day - result 99%


A:   Blood sats are typically done in an Emergency department setting and Indicate oxygen saturation (percent of hemoglobin molecules in blood bound to oxygen).

While normal sat levels are 95 percent and above, usually no clinical effects can be seen until below 85 percent.

Sat levels below 95 percent have to be taken into consideration with other vital signs and patient status. If other vitals are within normal limits and there is no shortness or breath, difficulty breathing , active infection, or change in skin colour... it is likely an error in testing.

If there is any clinical suspicion of reduced blood oxygen, the test should be repeated and recorded continuously for 5 minutes.

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