An Educational Blog
PULSE OXIMETRY _____ Prologue: All of us know how important oxygen is for our survival. Hypoxia means low oxygen supply and/or utilization by organ or tissue. Hypoxemia means low oxygen content of arterial blood. Hypoxaemia invariably leads to hypoxia but hypoxia can occur even without hypoxaemia. Arterial blood oxygen saturation is now considered the 5th vital sign, joining: temperature, respiratory rate, heart rate and blood pressure. Hypoxemia can be present before recognizable signs of respiratory distress become evident and the traditional sign of circumoral cyanosis is a late indicator of decreased oxygenation. Blood gas analysis was for many years the only available method of detecting hypoxemia in critically ill patients, but this technique is painful, has potential complications, and does not provide immediate or continuous data. Pulse oximetry is an objective estimation of oxygenation, and it is simple, reliable, and accurate when used appropriately. It has the unique advantage of […]
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