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What is Pulse Oximetry?

Pulse oximeters provide continuous information about heart rate and hemoglobin saturation. The monitor does not tell about respiratory depression until respiratory function has deteriorated to the point hemoglobin desaturates and the patient is hypoxemic. This occurs very near lethal respiratory failure when inspiring high concentrations of oxygen and may be accompanied by apnea. Pulse oximeters are extremely useful for monitoring patients at risk of hypoxia, but should not be relied upon as the only means of detecting respiratory depression.

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14-April-2014

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