low o2 sats after ORIF? - page 2

What the heck would cause low O2 sats after a ORIF of hip? Spinal ana, low hgb, tx with 1 unit PRBC, no other problems? No hx of lung dx, infections. Any ideas?... Read More

  1. by   gt4everpn
    Whats ORIF again, sorry been out of nrsg school for a while!
  2. by   Creamsoda
    Correct me if im wrong, but I thought I remember hearing somewhere, that a low hemoglobin will not give a low o2 sat, only if there is actually not enough oxygen passing through the lungs into the cells. Because there is less hemoglobin molecules, the oxygen will attach to all the receptors because there are so few to begin with so its a false high o2 sat. They will still feel tired and lethargic because not enough o2 is being transported, but that is because of the limited oxygen carying binding sites. Does that make sense? The sat probe will still see full binding capacity on the hemoglobin, so the sat appears high. A low o2 sat in a post op patient would be more likely related to atelectesis of the lungs, and not taking big enough breaths related to anestesia, pain ect.
  3. by   ann945n
    got my money on fat emboli
    a low hem wouldnt cause low O2 sat since all the hem (even if there is little of it) will still pick up any O2 it can. O2 sat cant tell low h and h only that O2 aint getting to the RBC
    Last edit by ann945n on Apr 21, '07
  4. by   BULLYDAWGRN
    I think the D-Dimer will be elevated anyway from the inflamation from surgery, I probably get a quick set of abgs and ask for a fast ct-scan for that possible atalectasis or early pneumonia or worse a pe. Cher1983 I believe you are on the money with the false high sat reading.
  5. by   momdebo
    Has the sat value been checked against ABG's?
  6. by   matchstickxx
    Quote from gt4everpn
    Whats ORIF again, sorry been out of nrsg school for a while!
    Open reduction internal rotation, I think....Not an ortho nurse....can you tell?
  7. by   Roy Fokker
    Quote from matchstickxx
    Open reduction internal rotation, I think....
    Almost correct

    Open Reduction Internal Fixation

    Here's the WIKI article...

    cheers,
    Roy (Ortho/Surgical RN!)
  8. by   AlbertaBlue
    Quote from Cher1983
    Correct me if im wrong, but I thought I remember hearing somewhere, that a low hemoglobin will not give a low o2 sat, only if there is actually not enough oxygen passing through the lungs into the cells. Because there is less hemoglobin molecules, the oxygen will attach to all the receptors because there are so few to begin with so its a false high o2 sat. They will still feel tired and lethargic because not enough o2 is being transported, but that is because of the limited oxygen carying binding sites. Does that make sense? The sat probe will still see full binding capacity on the hemoglobin, so the sat appears high. A low o2 sat in a post op patient would be more likely related to atelectesis of the lungs, and not taking big enough breaths related to anestesia, pain ect.
    This is my understanding as well...as with a patient who has methemoglobinemia - their sat's will be reading a falsely normal reading despite the fact that much of their hemoglobin has been taken over by metabolites produced by various different chemical agents. It seems like the most probable explanation for someone who has a low sat, and who happens to also be 87 and post-op, is atelectasis - you just have to get them DB&C - pneumonia in the elderly is a more common without the presentation of surgery. Just some thoughts.
  9. by   matchstickxx
    Quote from Roy Fokker
    Almost correct

    Open Reduction Internal Fixation

    Here's the WIKI article...

    cheers,
    Roy (Ortho/Surgical RN!)
    Oops....That's what I get for trying to type and talk at the same time and then post without proofreading.:spin:
  10. by   morte
    how low, and what was his baseline preop?..can you hear LS throughout all lung fields? if he was in LTC (not ALf or rest home) he should have some record of PO there, if they dont have them in hosp.....the low hgb would, as suggested by others, give you a HIGH, not a low reading.....
  11. by   SharonH, RN
    There are a multitude of reasons that have been given and I agree with almost all of them as a possibility however enough info has not been given. But before you get a VQ scan and a D-dimer, try the incentive spirometer or cough and deep breathe if an IS is not available to you. You would be surprised at how effective this simple nursing intervention is.
  12. by   RN4PatientCare
    I agree SharonH, good NURSING interventions!
  13. by   crissrn27
    This isn't my pt, just something me and another nurse at work were discussing (one of her pts) This pt was a women, at home before surgery, so who knows what her baseline usually is. Resp. therapy does our TCDB and get kinda mad when you step on their toes with this......crazy I know. Anyway, I'll let you know what happens, next time I talk with her. Thanks for all the responses!

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