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Comparison of Oxygen Saturation Values Obtained From Fingers on Physically Restrained or Unrestrained Sides of the Body

Akin Korhan, Esra MSc, RN; Hakverdioğlu Yönt, Gülendam PhD, RN; Khorshid, Leyla PhD, RN

doi: 10.1097/NUR.0b013e31820aeff2
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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.

Author Affiliations: Research Assistant (Ms Korhan), Research Assistant (Dr Yönt), Professor (Dr Khorshid), Department of Fundamentals of Nursing, School of Nursing, Ege University, İzmir, Turkey.

This study does not have any funding source.

The study was conducted in the intensive care unit of the neurology clinic of a university hospital in the west of Turkey.

Study design, data collection and analysis, and manuscript preparation were performed by all the authors.

None of the authors have any conflicts of interest with respect to this publication.

Correspondence: Esra Akin Korhan, MSc, RN, School of Nursing, Ege University, 35100 Bornova, İzmir, Turkey (akinesra80@hotmail.com).

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.