Objective: The aim of this study was to compare semiexperimentally the pulse oximetry values obtained from a finger on restrained or unrestrained sides of the body.
Background: The pulse oximeter provides a noninvasive measurement of the oxygen saturation of hemoglobin in arterial blood. One of the procedures most frequently applied to patients in intensive care units is the application of physical restraint. Circulation problems are the most important complication in patients who are physically restrained. Evaluation of oxygen saturation from body parts in which circulation is impeded or has deteriorated can cause false results.
Methods: The research sample consisted of 30 hospitalized patients who participated in the study voluntarily and who were concordant with the inclusion criteria of the study. Patient information and patient follow-up forms were used for data collection. Pulse oximetry values were measured simultaneously using OxiMax Nellcor finger sensors from fingers on the restrained and unrestrained sides of the body. Numeric and percentile distributions were used in evaluating the sociodemographic properties of patients.
Results: A significant difference was found between the oxygen saturation values obtained from a finger of an arm that had been physically restrained and a finger of an arm that had not been physically restrained. The mean oxygen saturation value measured from a finger of an arm that had been physically restrained was found to be 93.40 (SD, 2.97), and the mean oxygen saturation value measured from a finger of an arm that had not been physically restrained was found to be 95.53 (SD, 2.38).
Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that nurses should use a finger of an arm that is not physically restrained when evaluating oxygen saturation values to evaluate them correctly.