Pulse Oximetry

  1. 0
    I am not familiar with them much at all....what is a normal reading?
    What is abnormal. When do I notify a doctor?

    Thanks !

    _____________
    Praiser :heartbeat
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  3. 14 Comments so far...

  4. 2
    A lot would depend on your pt - I would expect in a healthy individual a SaO2 of 98-100%. If they had for eg a chest infection I would be aiming to keep SaO2 above 95%. In COPD I would be concerned about CO2 retention and would be taking advice from the Dr or Physio - sometimes they are happy to keep SaO2 around the 90% mark.
    I do not work on a respiratory ward so I may well be contradicted but these are roughly our guidelines.
    pagandeva2000 and Praiser like this.
  5. 2
    The other thing to keep in mind is that pulse oximetry is one of the tools in your arsenal, but it can't be the sole determinant of whether or not a patient is hypoxic or unstable. There are several factors that may cause false high or low saturation readings (including dirt, poor probe-skin contact, certain types of nail polish, shock states, carbon monoxide poisoning, and others).
    Praiser and linzz like this.
  6. 2
    Also, look at your pt. Do they appear to be in distress? If your pt looks to be in distress, but has a Pox of 92%, that doesn't mean that everything is alright.

    You have to take into account the whole picture. Pox is just one tool, as Eric said.
    leslie :-D and Praiser like this.
  7. 1
    The pulse ox of a healthy individual should read 96-100%. We are usually satisfied in the ICU as long as they stay above 90%. Some COPD patients live between 85-90%. The patients doctor should give you parameters for which to call. Most of ours say to either go by 02 protocol or call if less than 90%.

    Just remember to always treat your patient, and not the machine! If your patients pulse ox is reading 95%, but they are blue, something is obviously wrong! The biggest causes of false pulse ox readings are nail polish, dirt, shock, low H&H, carbon monoxide poisoning, and cold extremities.
    Praiser likes this.
  8. 1
    Different facilities will require different figures for SpO2 levels. Our facility wants an SpO2 of 92%or greater snd we are expected to maintain that during that entire stay. as floor nursing staff we are usually ok with anything 90% or greater, but if the RT team hears about it, they consider the pts' as having "bought a tube."
    Praiser likes this.
  9. 0
    Quote from mcknis
    Different facilities will require different figures for SpO2 levels. Our facility wants an SpO2 of 92%or greater snd we are expected to maintain that during that entire stay. as floor nursing staff we are usually ok with anything 90% or greater, but if the RT team hears about it, they consider the pts' as having "bought a tube."
    Please don't tell me that your facility routinely intubates for any saturation less than 90%
  10. 0
    Quote from mcknis
    , but if the RT team hears about it, they consider the pts' as having "bought a tube."

    Yikes! Keep those RTs away from my pts!:uhoh21:
  11. 0
    It all depends on the pt.

    A healthy non-smoking individual without resp. compromise, we like to see > 92%.

    However, most of the babies I work with, (congenital heart defects) are blue babies and expected to stay between 75-85%. As a matter of fact, due to the physiology of their defects and repairs, one might be concerned if they were above 85%.
  12. 0
    Quote from RazorbackRN
    It all depends on the pt.

    A healthy non-smoking individual without resp. compromise, we like to see > 92%.

    However, most of the babies I work with, (congenital heart defects) are blue babies and expected to stay between 75-85%. As a matter of fact, due to the physiology of their defects and repairs, one might be concerned if they were above 85%.

    Please explain this to me. I had a pt (infant) who had these exact parameters d/t a heart condition. We were to immed call the physician if the sats went (and stayed) above 85%. I can't seem to figure out why this is a concern or what harm could occur by having sats >85%.


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