Pulse Oximetry

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We use pulse oximetry on every patient every day in the ICU, but how does this machine actually work and, importantly, how does it fail? This ICU #OnePager reviews the principle of pulse oximetry and the many factors that can cause inaccurate readings: darker skin pigmentation, nail polish, low flow states (ECMO & LVADs), and abnormal hemoglobins (MetHB, COHb, etc). It introduces the important concept of pulse ox lag-time and also shows how the waveform can provide useful physiologic clues about vascular tone/compliance.


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Author(s): Nick Mark, MD

Internal URL: https://onepagericu.com/


Attribution:   Title: “Pulse Oximetry”   Creator: “Nick Mark MD“  Source:OnePager ICU“   License: “CC BY-SA 3.0

Citation Example:   OnePagers: Mark NM, “Pulse Oximetry” Published 2020-12-17, OnePagerICU, URL: www.onepagericu.com (accessed Date)