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Is pulse oximetry an essential tool or just another distraction? The role of the pulse oximeter in modern anesthesia care.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23314807     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Since the discovery of anesthetic agents, patient monitoring has been considered one of the core responsibilities of the anesthesiologist. As depicted in Robert Hinckley's famous painting, The First Operation with Ether, one observes William Thomas Green Morton carefully watching over his patient. Since its founding in 1905, 'Vigilance' has been the motto of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA). Over a hundred years have passed, and one would think we would be clear regarding what we are watching for and how we should be watching. On the contrary, the introduction of new technology and outcome research is requiring us to re-examine our fundamental assumptions regarding what is and what is not important in the care of the patient. A vast majority of anesthesiologists would refuse to proceed with an anesthetic without the presence of a pulse oximeter. On the other hand, outcome studies have failed to demonstrate an improvement in patient care with their use. For that matter, it can be argued that outcome studies have yet to demonstrate an unambiguous role for any monitor of any type (i.e. blood pressure cuff or ECG), as outcome studies may fail to capture rare events. Because of the increased safety that has been attributed to pulse oximetry, it is unlikely that further studies can or will be conducted. As we enter a new era of clinical monitoring, with an emphasis on noninvasive cardiovascular monitoring, it might be of benefit to examine the role of the pulse oximeter in clinical care. This article reviews the available evidence for pulse oximetry. Further, it discusses contemporary issues, events, and perceptions that may help to explain how and why pulse oximetry may have been adopted as a standard of care despite the lack of supportive. Lastly, it discusses less obvious benefits of pulse oximetry that may have further implications on the future of anesthesia care and perhaps even automated anesthesia.
Amit Shah; Kirk H Shelley
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2013-1-12
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of clinical monitoring and computing     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1573-2614     ISO Abbreviation:  J Clin Monit Comput     Publication Date:  2013 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-1-14     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9806357     Medline TA:  J Clin Monit Comput     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Department of Anesthesiology, Yale University School of Medicine, 333 Cedar Street, P.O. Box 208051, New Haven, CT, USA,
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