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George Eliot Hospital - NHS Trust
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Overnight oximetry

Parent specialty: Cardio Respiratory Unit (CRU)

This test performs an overnight recording of the patient’s breathing during their sleep (overnight oximetry). The test is usually performed to see if they stop breathing for short periods during their sleep. This is called Sleep Apnoea. We may also need to assess whether they need extra oxygen overnight.

The test
The test can be performed at home, by collecting a small recording monitor (Oximeter) that records oxygen levels and heart rate. Using the monitor is very simple and involves attaching a small clip to the finger whilst sleeping.

The patient will be asked to press a small button once to start the recording and once to terminate the recording. During your appointment this will be demonstrated.

Upon waking the next morning, switch the monitor off and return as instructed.

During the appointment, we may also measure height and weight and ask the patient to complete a simple questionnaire.


Before the test

  • Please continue to take any medication as normal, unless instructed not too.

  • Please must remove any nail varnish from your fingernail before placing the Oximeter probe onto the finger.

  • For the study, please try and follow a normal sleep routine.


Please allow 30 minutes for the appointment.


Finding the department
From the main entrance walk by the teabar and shop and then take a right at the crossroads just before you reach the XRay and pathology departments there is a lift or a set of stairs, go up to the first floor, we are on the right if you use the lift and left if you use the stairs.


Returning the oximeter
The Oximeter must be returned to the Cardio  Respiratory Unit between 8-10am on the morning after the test.

The monitor may be returned by a friend or relative

If the Oximeter is unable to be returned, please contact us urgently as the equipment will be booked out for another patient.

If the sleep study shows that you have Obstructive Sleep Apnoea you will be invited into the Physiologist led sleep clinic to discuss your options. 


Useful links


Updated July 2017