Pulse oximetry, a straightforward method for estimating arterial oxygen saturation, can detect hypoxemia early; it's used often and in a variety of settings. But what's not always clear is how frequently—or even whether—patients should be monitored, and unless guidelines are understood and followed, pulse oximetry can be misused or overused. This article reviews the technology and its limitations and discusses current guidelines and their implications for nurses.
Pulse oximetry can detect hypoxemia early, but what's not always clear is how frequently—or even whether—patients should be monitored. Unless guidelines are understood and followed, pulse oximetry can be misused or overused.
Claudia Valdez-Lowe is an NP at Henry Ford Health System's Heart and Vascular Institute in Detroit. Valdez-Lowe and Sameh A. Ghareeb are enrolled in the doctoral nursing program and Nancy T. Artinian is a professor of nursing at the College of Nursing at Wayne State University in Detroit. The authors of this article have no significant ties, financial or otherwise, to any company that might have an interest in the publication of this educational activity.
Contact author: Claudia Valdez-Lowe, firstname.lastname@example.org.