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Original Research

A study on inter-finger variation and hand dominance in peripheral capillary oxygen saturation values recorded from the different fingers of the hands by pulse oximetry

Arghya Sur, Sudeshna Bhar Kundu.


Background: To measure percentage of oxygen saturation of hemoglobin in the capillary blood (SpO2), pulse oximeter is used as an imperative noninvasive device. There is lack of reported study evaluating the hand dominance and inter-finger variation of SpO2 readings.

Aim and Objectives: Our study aims at providing comparison of peripheral capillary blood oxygen saturation of hemoglobin (SpO2 values) among every finger of the two hands in healthy subjects with different hand dominance.

Materials and Methods: In this study, 100 healthy subjects of age group between 18 and 30 years were enrolled, in which 76 subjects were right handed, 24 subjects were left handed. No subject was identified as ambidextrous. After 5 min of rest, they were monitored. After collecting different relevant demographic parameters such as age, sex, height, weight, noninvasive blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature and fasting period, SpO2 values were recorded from every finger of two hands with the same pulse oximeter. All the SpO2 values were measured providing at least 1 min of interval after each recording. Total 1000 SpO2 recordings were obtained from 100 subjects.

Results: Our result shows that highest average SpO2 values were obtained from middle finger in both the left and right handed subjects. There was no statistically significant difference in the SpO2 values between the middle finger of dominant and non-dominant hand in both the right handed and left handed subjects. Again, thumb showed the second highest average SpO2 value. There was no statistically significant difference in the SpO2 values between the thumbs in right handed and left handed subjects. Lowest SpO2 values were obtained in little fingers of both the hands without showing significant difference of hand dominance.

Conclusion: While recording the SpO2 by pulse oximeter, the middle fingers show the highest values followed by the thumbs. Lowest values are recorded from the little fingers. Again, result depicts that there is no statistically significant difference in SpO2 values between corresponding fingers of dominant and non-dominant hand.

Key words: Pulse Oximeter; SpO2; Finger; Hands; Hand Dominance (Handedness)

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