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Oxicapnography sleep study

What is overnight oxicapnography?

This is an overnight recording of your child’s oxygen saturations, carbon dioxide levels and heart rate during sleep that is non-invasive.

What does the study involve?

  1. You will be welcomed to the Sleep House and shown to your bedroom.
  2. After settling in, a member of the physiology team will go through some paperwork with you.
  3. Once your child is ready for bed, staff will tape an oximetry sensor to your child’s toe, or finger, which measures oxygen saturation and heart rate.
  4. A warm probe will then be attached to either the chest or ear which measures carbon dioxide levels. After these have been attached, you and your child will be left to settle and go to sleep.
  5. Overnight, staff will monitor the signals via a video camera with your written consent. Staff may come in overnight to reattach sensors if signals are lost.

Photograph of carbon dioxide sensor stuck on person's chestPhotograph of oximeter on toe attached with a plaster and wire coming out of it

How long does it take?

It only lasts 1 night, and you and your child can go home first thing the next day.

Are there any risks?

These sensors are not painful, however some children and young people may find it upsetting to have these sensors attached. We will work closely with you and your child to successfully apply these sensors.

What happens afterwards?

When your child wakes up and the study has finished, the sleep staff will remove your child’s sensors. We will then discharge you home promptly. The latest you can leave the sleep house is 7.30am. Your child can then go about their day as normal.

Photograph of child sitting on bed with wires coming off them

When will I get the results?

The sleep physiology staff will pass the data onto the sleep and respiratory team.  The sleep and respiratory consultant will then look at the results and they will be discussed either at your next clinic appointment or the results will be sent to the referring doctor.


Results will not be available during your stay with us. It can take a few weeks to get the results.

Contact us

If you have any questions or concerns you can speak to the sleep physiology team on 0114 305 3042. Please leave a message on our answer phone and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

If you are unable to come in for this appointment, please contact the bookings team on 0114 226 0698 to rearrange a new date. We would really appreciate you letting us know as soon as possible if you are unable to attend, so we can offer the slot to another patient on our waiting list.

The Sleep House, 20 Claremont Crescent, Sheffield, S10 2TA

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Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

Resource number: SLP7

Resource Type: Article

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S10 2TH

United Kingdom

Switchboard: 0114 271 7000

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