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Oxygen Saturation

Updated: May 30, 2023

A general guideline for categorizing oxygen saturation levels based on severity using percentage (%):


  1. Normal oxygen saturation: Oxygen saturation levels of 95-100% are considered normal and indicate that the body is getting enough oxygen.

  2. Mild hypoxemia: Oxygen saturation levels between 91-94% are considered mildly low and may indicate hypoxemia (low blood oxygen levels), which can cause symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue, and confusion.

  3. Moderate hypoxemia: Oxygen saturation levels between 86-90% are considered moderately low and may indicate hypoxemia, which can cause more severe symptoms such as rapid heart rate, chest pain, and severe shortness of breath.

  4. Severe hypoxemia: Oxygen saturation levels below 85% are considered severely low and may indicate a medical emergency. Severe hypoxemia can cause symptoms such as blue lips or nails, confusion, and unconsciousness.


It's important to note that oxygen saturation levels may vary depending on the individual's age, health status, and other factors. Additionally, some medical conditions or medications may affect oxygen saturation levels. If you are concerned about your oxygen saturation levels or if you experience symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, or confusion, it's important to seek medical attention. References:

  1. Johns Hopkins Medicine. (n.d.). Pulse Oximetry

  2. Mayo Clinic. (n.d.). Hypoxemia (low blood oxygen)




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