Critically ill patients require vigilant monitoring of tissue oxygenation, particularly oxygenation of the gut mucosa, because of the mucosa's fragile blood supply. With the advent of gastric tonometry, splanchnic tissue oxygenation can be measured in a minimally invasive and cost-effective manner. Requiring only a gastric tonometer (approximately $70) and facilities to measure arterial blood gases, this method allows early detection of covert compensated shock by determining pHi. Thus, early intervention and correction of deficits in tissue oxygenation are possible and may improve patients' outcome.

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