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Consistent and Reliable Pulse Oximetry:  It really is more than just applying a probe



Nikolaus Gravenstein, MD

   Professor of Anesthesiology

  University of Florida

  Gainesville, FL




This clinical discussion of pulse oximetry will cover the background, basics and nuances of pulse oximetry monitoring in critical and acute care hospital settings with the goal of helping caregivers build a mental model of the technology and physiology used in pulse oximetry. The webinar will also focus on common clinical conditions that lead to diminished blood flow to the digits and slower detection of saturation changes, including patient shock, peripheral vascular disease, advanced age, etc. Tips on how to troubleshoot and/or optimize pulse oximeter performance will be shared and pulse oximetry probe site options beyond the finger will be discussed.


Learning Objectives:

After the completion of this activity, the learner will be able to:

  1. Discuss the evidence to help optimize the when, where, why and how of pulse oximeter use
  2. Describe the clinical situations that can lead to unreliable pulse oximetry measurements
  3. Discuss the use of Nasal Alar SPO2 probe for the monitoring of select patients


Faculty Bio:

Dr. Nikolaus Gravenstein is the Jerome H. Modell Professor of Anesthesiology in the Division of Multispecialty Anesthesiology, as well as a Professor of Neurosurgery and Professor of Periodontology at the University of Florida. Dr. Gravenstein’s work has led to seven patented innovations, including two monitors for carbon dioxide and a noninvasive method for determining hematocrit and blood levels of hemoglobin and oxygen. He has edited and co-edited multiple textbooks, contributed chapters to 28 books, and has written or contributed to more than 80 articles for refereed publications.


Continuing Education for Nurses and Respiratory Therapists

This program has been approved for 1.0 contact hour. Continuing Respiratory Care Education (CRCE) credit by the American Association of Respiratory Care. This education activity is approved for 1.0 contact hour. Provider approved by California Board of Nursing, Provider # 14477 and the Florida Board of Nursing Provider # 50-17032

Support for this educational activity from Philips



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