Skip Navigation LinksHome > March/April 2014 - Volume 35 - Issue 2 > Thermal Injuries Caused by Medical Instruments: A Case Repo...
Journal of Burn Care & Research:
doi: 10.1097/BCR.0b013e31828a8d5a
Case Reports

Thermal Injuries Caused by Medical Instruments: A Case Report of Burns Caused by a Pulse Oximeter

Bunker, Daniel Lee John MBBS Hons, B Eng (Aerospace) Hons I*; Kumar, Rohit MBBS*; Martin, Andrew MBBS, FRACS; Pegg, Stuart P. MBBS, FRACS

Collapse Box


Pulse oximeters have been widely used since the 1980s as they are considered to provide a safe, convenient, noninvasive method of estimating blood oxygen saturation. Initially used in the operating room by anesthesiologists, pulse oximetry has become ubiquitous in the healthcare setting. Although rare, serious burn injuries secondary to pulse oximetry have been reported. These include blistering or full-thickness burns of distal phalanges, in some cases requiring amputation and/or grafting;2–4 thermal burns in the setting of poor peripheral circulation;5,6 and extremity burns on infants with cases of gangrene and digit loss.7–13 We present a case of a full-thickness burn arising in a 17-month-old child, which required further therapy for resolution.

© 2014 The American Burn Association


Article Tools


Article Level Metrics