While working over the past year, I have seen the disposable finger "sticky" pulse oximeters applied to the forehead of patients who where not satting well in emergency situations various times.
Now I commonly apply the oximeter to the head if the patient is not satting well - that is if the finger sat is poor.
Recently a PA and MD- resident/intern -, said something to me.
A patient had been kept an extra day in the hospital because low sats- nothing else, pt was asymptomatic. However, when the oximeter was applied to the head, the pt satted 97%-100%. On finger 88-90%. Pt didn't have copd. I told the PA and the PA told the resident/intern (i really don't know which b/c I work nights and never deal with this particular MD). The intern/resident said the head wasn't accurate. However, the pt was sent home the next day.
Another occassion a PA looked questioned why I applied the pulse ox to the forehead of a pt. She is new to the profession, so I really didn't pay attention to her comment. The way she looked at me, however, I will never forget. It was what the hell are you doing kinda look.
So my question, all things aside, does using a finger, "sticky" pulse ox on the forehead provide an accurate reading?