In 2002, pulse oximetry is widely used in almost every setting where any risk for hypoxemia occurs. More than 500 articles and studies have been published concerning pulse oximetry since this protocol was originally published (February 1998). Although a valuable tool, pulse oximetry accuracy, especially in critically ill patients, remains a concern. Identification of the specific value that indicates hypoxemia, as well as the effect of pulse oximetry on patient outcomes, has been a focus of recent work. Finally, lack of knowledge and understanding of pulse oximetry technology remains. The data related to these latest issues are described below.

There is continued discussion of the accuracy of pulse oximetry in critically ill patients. Although studies have documented accuracy of ± 2% for oxygen saturation as measured by pulse oximetry (Spo2) values between 70% and 100%,1...

You do not currently have access to this content.