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J Clin Monit. 1988 Oct;4(4):290-301.

Pulse oximetry: analysis of theory, technology, and practice.

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Ohmeda, Louisville, CO 80027.


Interest in two-wavelength classic, that is, nonpulse, oximetry began early in the 20th century. Noninvasive in vivo measurements of oxygen saturation showed promise, but the methods were beset by several problems. The pulse oximetry technique, by focusing on the pulsatile arterial component, neatly circumvented many of the problems of the classic nonpulse arterial approach. Today's pulse oximeter owes a good measure of its success to the technologic advances in light emission and detection and the ready availability of microcomputers and their software. Many clinicians have recognized how valuable the assessment of the patient's oxygenation in real time can be. This appreciation has propelled the use of pulse oximeters into many clinical fields, as well as nonclinical fields such as sports training and aviation. Understanding how and what pulse oximetry measures, how pulse oximetry data compare with data derived from laboratory analysis, and how the pulse oximeter responds to dyshemoglobins, dyes, and other interfering conditions must be understood for the correct application and interpretation of this revolutionary monitor.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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