Objective measures of monitoring for hypoxaemia include pulse oximetry. This is a good bedside monitor if its limitations are recognised. It is a continuous and non-invasive monitor. Its principal limitation is that, in patients who are receiving supplemental oxygen, it will not reliably detect hypoventilation. Hypoventilation must, in the clinical environment, usually be confirmed by measurement of the PaCO2 by arterial blood gas analysis.

Infrequently, inadequate oxygenation with normal oxygen saturation may occur in cases with very gross anaemia or in situations where the cells are unable to utilise oxygen such as severe sepsis or cyanide poisoning. Mixed venous oxygen saturation m