Pulse oximetry non-invasively measures the saturation of hemoglobin with oxygen in the arterial blood (SpO2) simply and in real-time. It does this by tracking changes in light absorption that are emitted from a sensor placed on a fingertip. This allows for the rapid diagnosis of hypoxemia (low blood oxygen levels), which is difficult to identify clinically until the blood turns blue (a late sign).
Since quickly becoming the standard of care during anesthesia in the early 1980s, pulse oximetry has rapidly extended throughout much of the hospital, greatly improving patient safety by detecting an early sign of clinical deterioration. However, the full clinical benefits offered by pulse oximetry have yet to be realized.
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Electrical & Computer Engineering in Medicine (ECEM)
Pediatric Anesthesia Research Team, BC Children's Hospital
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