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If the SpO2 probe is too tight, it may detect non-arterial pulsations, resulting in venous pulsations on the finger. Venous pulsation can also be caused by right heart failure, tricuspid regurgitation, and the hemostatic band of the blood pressure cuff above the probe. Cardiac arrhythmias can lead to inaccurate measurement results, especially in the presence of obvious defects in the apex/radial bone. The use of venous dyes in diagnosis and hemodynamic testing may result in inaccurate estimates of oxygen saturation, which are generally lower. The effects of skin pigmentation, jaundice, or elevated levels of bilirubin should also be considered.

Continuous use of SpO2 probes may cause blisters on the fingertip, causing pressure damage to the skin or nail bed

Continued use of SpO2 probes carries the risk of burns, and the probe should be repositioned every two to four hours. If the probe is placed on a paralyzed limb, the patient may not be able to alert staff to any discomfort or potential burns.

Optical shunting affects accuracy and occurs when the sensor is improperly placed so that light travels directly from the LED to the photodetector without passing through the vascular bed.

In many nursing environments, monitoring heart rate, arterial oxygen saturation, respiratory rate, and activity is a standard part of patient care to detect complications or deterioration. The current methods for measuring these vital signs require the use of blood oxygen sensors on the skin or devices strapped to the body. However, these contact sensors can cause harm and discomfort to patients with fragile skin, such as newborns.

Proper use of SpO2 probes is crucial

According to data from the World Health Organization, to obtain the most accurate readings on a pulse oximeter, simply place the SpO2 probe correctly, sit still, remove nail polish, and avoid interfering with pulse oximetry readings. A pulse oximeter is a small device that can quickly and easily measure the oxygen saturation or oxygen content in your blood. The probe or sensor on these devices looks like a plastic clothespin that can be placed on your fingertips, toes, or ear lobes. The small screen on the probe displays estimated oxygen levels for your limbs or other parts of your body.

In medical situations, blood oxygen monitoring can be crucial, with SpO2 probes being an important indicator of patient oxygen levels. Regular use of a pulse oximeter to monitor patients can help doctors detect potentially dangerous oxygen levels in a timely manner due to poor blood circulation that can cause abnormal breathing. If you experience shortness of breath or your home pulse oximeter shows your blood oxygen levels at 95% or below, it's best to call your doctor immediately. If you have severe shortness of breath, persistent chest pain or pressure, sudden confusion, these may be signs of complications such as pneumonia. Some of these symptoms, including dizziness, nausea, slurred speech, weakness on one side, and drooping of one side of the face, may also be warning signs of heart disease or stroke.

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