Up to date, expert answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) about oxygen supply systems, respiratory care and pulse oximetry written by OCC & collaborators.
Pulse ox in resource-limited settings
Studies have shown that many low-cost pulse oximeters demonstrate highly inaccurate readings. However, some low-cost pulse oximeters have performed with similar accuracy to more expensive devices when used in healthy subjects. Please see our oximeter database for performance information on many low cost oximeters.
References: Lipnick et al, Anesth Analg 2016
Keywords: low-cost, low cost, cheap, inaccurate
- Pulse oximetry and the Kigali Modification of the Berlin Criteria can be used to diagnose ARDS (Riviello et al, Am J Respir Crit Care, 2016)
- See Kigali Criteria summary on the Respiratory Care Pocket Card
- In the absence of ABGs, management of ARDS is extremely challenging. While SpO2 provides information for most patients, there are limited surrogates for assessing ventilation or acid base status, both key diagnostic information for ARDS management
- This calculator can be used to estimate P:F ratios when only SpO2 values are available
Recent studies using data from 54 countries have shown that about 77,700 operating rooms worldwide do not have pulse oximeters. When accounting for other clinical practice settings such as post-op recovery units and intensive care units, the ‘oximetry gap’ is likely much greater. Barriers to access include cost, supply chain, and incorporation into local practice guidelines.
References: Funk et al, Lancet 2010; Gibbs et al, What is the real oximeter gap?, Anaesthesia, 2017
Keywords: access, operating rooms, equipment