Advanced Life Support (ALS) Level 3 (VTQ)

117 videos, 6 hours and 42 minutes

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Pulse oximetry

Video 43 of 117
2 min 44 sec
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Exploring Pulse Oximetry for Oxygen Level Monitoring

Understanding Pulse Oximetry

Pulse oximetry provides insights into a patient's oxygen levels by measuring oxygen combined with circulating haemoglobin.

Accuracy Considerations

Factors Affecting Accuracy

  • Cold Conditions: Low temperatures can affect sensor accuracy.
  • Raynaud's Syndrome: Conditions impacting distal body circulation may yield inaccurate readings.
  • Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: Pulse oximetry cannot distinguish between oxygen and carbon monoxide.

Pulse Oximetry Devices

Overview of Pulse Oximeters

Pulse oximeters come in various configurations, typically featuring a screen for displaying readings and a sensor applied to the patient's finger.

Quick Response

Immediate Oxygen Therapy

If dealing with a hypoxic patient, initiate oxygen therapy without waiting for the pulse oximetry reading to confirm hypoxia. Oxygen dosage can be adjusted later based on the reading.

Target Oxygen Saturation Levels

Desired SPO2 Levels

In patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), an oxygen saturation range of 88% to 92% is acceptable. For patients without COPD, aim for an SPO2 reading above 95%.

How Pulse Oximetry Works

Principles of the Pulse Oximetry Probe

The pulse oximetry probe emits red light through the finger, detecting the amount of oxyhemoglobin as it passes through the light. When dealing with nail varnish, consider applying the sensor sideways for accuracy. Alternative probes can be used on ears, noses, toes, providing insight into distal circulatory status.