Essentials Webinar Series is a programme of webinars – broadcast live – providing expert specialist clinical training and essential information. These webinars are recorded live and are available for delegates to access freely for six months after the webinar date. 

The Covid-19 pandemic, along with the surge in RSV infections in children, led to an increase in the use of pulse oximetry in primary and community care, accompanied by warnings from both the FDA and MHRA over the potential for pulse oximeters to produce inaccurate readings. It is important for GPs to be aware of the factors that can cause a pulse oximetry reading to be inaccurate because critical decisions over whether to give a patient oxygen, or refer a patient to hospital are often based on these readings. In addition, many of the guidelines that we follow refer to specific or narrow ranges of pulse oximetry readings, which makes accuracy important.

This session will look at the factors that can affect the accuracy of readings and what GPs can do to improve the accuracy of pulse oximetry readings. It will also discuss the current concerns over racial bias in pulse oximetry. The second part of the session will feature cases that demonstrate the value of pulse oximetry but also the factors that need to be taken into consideration when interpreting pulse oximetry readings.

Learning objectives:

  • Understand the principles of pulse oximetry and why hypoxaemia may be missed by pulse oximeters
  • Understand the factors that can affect the accuracy of pulse oximetry readings and how to prevent this from happening
  • Understand the need to interpret pulse oximetry readings within the context of the other assessment findings & the level of accuracy
  • Understand how pulse oximeters can be used to identify patients with silent and atypical presentations of serious illnesses


Dr Emma Salik, Faculty Education Lead for Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire


Dr Paul Silverston, Visiting Professor at Anglia Ruskin University & Visiting Professor of Primary Care at The University of Suffolk


AiT rate – £15

Members rate – £20

Non-members rate – £30