Concept: Pulse oximetry
Slow deep breathing improves blood oxygenation (Sp(O2)) and affects hemodynamics in hypoxic patients. We investigated the ventilatory and hemodynamic effects of slow deep breathing in normal subjects at high altitude. We collected data in healthy lowlanders staying either at 4559 m for 2-3 days (Study A; N = 39) or at 5400 m for 12-16 days (Study B; N = 28). Study variables, including Sp(O2) and systemic and pulmonary arterial pressure, were assessed before, during and after 15 minutes of breathing at 6 breaths/min. At the end of slow breathing, an increase in Sp(O2) (Study A: from 80.2±7.7% to 89.5±8.2%; Study B: from 81.0±4.2% to 88.6±4.5; both p<0.001) and significant reductions in systemic and pulmonary arterial pressure occurred. This was associated with increased tidal volume and no changes in minute ventilation or pulmonary CO diffusion. Slow deep breathing improves ventilation efficiency for oxygen as shown by blood oxygenation increase, and it reduces systemic and pulmonary blood pressure at high altitude but does not change pulmonary gas diffusion.
BACKGROUND:: Anesthesiology requires performing visually oriented procedures while monitoring auditory information about a patient’s vital signs. A concern in operating room environments is the amount of competing information and the effects that divided attention has on patient monitoring, such as detecting auditory changes in arterial oxygen saturation via pulse oximetry. METHODS:: The authors measured the impact of visual attentional load and auditory background noise on the ability of anesthesia residents to monitor the pulse oximeter auditory display in a laboratory setting. Accuracies and response times were recorded reflecting anesthesiologists' abilities to detect changes in oxygen saturation across three levels of visual attention in quiet and with noise. RESULTS:: Results show that visual attentional load substantially affects the ability to detect changes in oxygen saturation concentrations conveyed by auditory cues signaling 99 and 98% saturation. These effects are compounded by auditory noise, up to a 17% decline in performance. These deficits are seen in the ability to accurately detect a change in oxygen saturation and in speed of response. CONCLUSIONS:: Most anesthesia accidents are initiated by small errors that cascade into serious events. Lack of monitor vigilance and inattention are two of the more commonly cited factors. Reducing such errors is thus a priority for improving patient safety. Specifically, efforts to reduce distractors and decrease background noise should be considered during induction and emergence, periods of especially high risk, when anesthesiologists has to attend to many tasks and are thus susceptible to error.
Background Long-term treatment with supplemental oxygen has unknown efficacy in patients with stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and resting or exercise-induced moderate desaturation. Methods We originally designed the trial to test whether long-term treatment with supplemental oxygen would result in a longer time to death than no use of supplemental oxygen among patients who had stable COPD with moderate resting desaturation (oxyhemoglobin saturation as measured by pulse oximetry [Spo2], 89 to 93%). After 7 months and the randomization of 34 patients, the trial was redesigned to also include patients who had stable COPD with moderate exercise-induced desaturation (during the 6-minute walk test, Spo2 ≥80% for ≥5 minutes and <90% for ≥10 seconds) and to incorporate the time to the first hospitalization for any cause into the new composite primary outcome. Patients were randomly assigned, in a 1:1 ratio, to receive long-term supplemental oxygen (supplemental-oxygen group) or no long-term supplemental oxygen (no-supplemental-oxygen group). In the supplemental-oxygen group, patients with resting desaturation were prescribed 24-hour oxygen, and those with desaturation only during exercise were prescribed oxygen during exercise and sleep. The trial-group assignment was not masked. Results A total of 738 patients at 42 centers were followed for 1 to 6 years. In a time-to-event analysis, we found no significant difference between the supplemental-oxygen group and the no-supplemental-oxygen group in the time to death or first hospitalization (hazard ratio, 0.94; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.79 to 1.12; P=0.52), nor in the rates of all hospitalizations (rate ratio, 1.01; 95% CI, 0.91 to 1.13), COPD exacerbations (rate ratio, 1.08; 95% CI, 0.98 to 1.19), and COPD-related hospitalizations (rate ratio, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.83 to 1.17). We found no consistent between-group differences in measures of quality of life, lung function, and the distance walked in 6 minutes. Conclusions In patients with stable COPD and resting or exercise-induced moderate desaturation, the prescription of long-term supplemental oxygen did not result in a longer time to death or first hospitalization than no long-term supplemental oxygen, nor did it provide sustained benefit with regard to any of the other measured outcomes. (Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; LOTT ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00692198 .).
Acute exercise has been demonstrated to improve cognitive function. In contrast, severe hypoxia can impair cognitive function. Hence, cognitive function during exercise under severe hypoxia may be determined by the balance between the beneficial effects of exercise and the detrimental effects of severe hypoxia. However, the physiological factors that determine cognitive function during exercise under hypoxia remain unclear. Here, we examined the combined effects of acute exercise and severe hypoxia on cognitive function and identified physiological factors that determine cognitive function during exercise under severe hypoxia. The participants completed cognitive tasks at rest and during moderate exercise under either normoxic or severe hypoxic conditions. Peripheral oxygen saturation, cerebral oxygenation, and middle cerebral artery velocity were continuously monitored. Cerebral oxygen delivery was calculated as the product of estimated arterial oxygen content and cerebral blood flow. On average, cognitive performance improved during exercise under both normoxia and hypoxia, without sacrificing accuracy. However, under hypoxia, cognitive improvements were attenuated for individuals exhibiting a greater decrease in peripheral oxygen saturation. Cognitive performance was not associated with other physiological parameters. Taken together, the present results suggest that arterial desaturation attenuates cognitive improvements during exercise under hypoxia.
Despite being infrequent, complications of airway management remain an important contributor to morbidity and mortality during anaesthesia and care of the critically ill. Developments in the last three decades have made anaesthesia safer, and this has been mirrored in the equipment and techniques available for airway management. Modern technology including novel oxygenation modalities, widespread availability of capnography, second-generation supraglottic airway devices and videolaryngoscopy provide the tools to make airway management safer still. However, technology will only take safety so far, and non-technical aspects of airway management are critically important for communication and decision making during airway crises, acknowledging a ‘cannot intubate, cannot oxygenate’ situation and transitioning to emergency front of neck airway. Randomised controlled trials provide little useful information about safety in this setting, and data from registries and databases are likely to be of more value. This narrative review focuses on recent evidence in this area.
Diagnostic and interventional procedures are often facilitated by moderate procedure-related sedation. Many studies support the overall safety of this sedation; however, adverse cardiovascular and respiratory events are reported in up to 70% of these procedures, more frequently in very young, very old, or sicker patients. Monitoring with pulse oximetry may underreport hypoventilation during sedation, particularly if supplemental oxygen is provided. Capnometry may result in false alarms during sedation when patients mouth breathe or displace sampling devices. Advanced monitor use during sedation may allow event detection before complications develop. This 2-part pilot study used advanced monitors during planned moderate sedation to (1) determine incidences of desaturation, low respiratory rate, and deeper than intended sedation alarm events; and (2) determine whether advanced monitor use is associated with fewer alarm events.
Supplemental oxygen is administered in the vast majority of patients in the perioperative setting and in the intensive care unit to prevent the potentially deleterious effects of hypoxia. On the other hand, the administration of high concentrations of oxygen may induce hyperoxia that may also be associated with significant complications. Oxygen therapy should therefore be precisely titrated and accurately monitored. Although pulse oximetry has become an indispensable monitoring technology to detect hypoxemia, its value in assessing the oxygenation status beyond the range of maximal arterial oxygen saturation (SpO2 ≥97%) is very limited. In this hyperoxic range, we need to rely on blood gas analysis, which is intermittent, invasive and sometimes delayed. The oxygen reserve index (ORI) is a new continuous non-invasive variable that is provided by the new generation of pulse oximeters that use multi-wavelength pulse co-oximetry. The ORI is a dimensionless index that reflects oxygenation in the moderate hyperoxic range (PaO2 100-200 mmHg). The ORI may provide an early alarm when oxygenation deteriorates well before any changes in SpO2 occur, may reflect the response to oxygen administration (e.g., pre-oxygenation), and may facilitate oxygen titration and prevent unintended hyperoxia. In this review we describe this new variable, summarize available data and preliminary experience, and discuss its potential clinical utilities in the perioperative and intensive care settings.
Previous results from our trial of early treatment with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) versus early surfactant treatment in infants showed no significant difference in the outcome of death or bronchopulmonary dysplasia. A lower (vs. higher) target range of oxygen saturation was associated with a lower rate of severe retinopathy but higher mortality. We now report longer-term results from our prespecified hypotheses.
We present a novel method for estimating respiratory rate in real-time from the photoplethysmogram (PPG) obtained from pulse oximetry. Three respiratory induced variations (frequency, intensity, and amplitude) are extracted from the PPG using the Incremental-Merge Segmentation algorithm. Frequency content of each respiratory induced variation is analyzed using Fast Fourier Transforms. The proposed Smart Fusion method then combines the results of the three respiratory induced variations using a transparent mean calculation. It automatically eliminates estimations considered to be unreliable because of detected presence of artifacts in the PPG or disagreement between the different individual respiratory rate estimations. The algorithm has been tested on data obtained from 29 children and 13 adults. Results show that it is important to combine the three respiratory induced variations for robust estimation of respiratory rate. The Smart Fusion showed trends of improved estimation (mean root mean square error 3.0 breaths/min) compared to the individual estimation methods (5.8, 6.2 and 3.9 breaths/min). The Smart Fusion algorithm is being implemented in a mobile phone pulse oximeter device to facilitate the diagnosis of severe childhood pneumonia in remote areas.
The esophagus is perfused directly by prominent arteries and may provide a more consistent tissue source for pulse oximetry. The goal of this study was to evaluate the sensitivity and accuracy of an esophageal pulse oximetry probe on patients during controlled hypoxemia in comparison to measurements obtained with conventional pulse oximetry (SpulseO(2)). Forty-five ASA I-II adult patients were included in this prospective observational study. Nellcor digital oximetric probes were placed on finger tips for SpulseO(2) before anesthesia. After tracheal intubation, an esophageal probe was placed in the lower segment of the esophagus for esophageal oximetric monitoring (SoesO(2)). All patients were disconnected from the breathing circuit to establish a controlled hypoxemia, and were re-connected to the breathing circuit and ventilated with 100% oxygen immediately when SoesO(2) dropped to 90%. Matched SoesO(2) and SpulseO(2) readings were recorded when SoesO(2) measurements were at 100%, 95%, 90% and the lowest reading. The time for SoesO(2) and SpulseO(2) to drop from 100% to 95%, 90% and return to 100% was recorded. Oxygen saturation from arterial blood samples (SartO(2)) was also measured at each time point respectively. The linear correlation coefficient of the regression analysis between SartO(2) and SoesO(2) was 0.954. The mean ± 2SD of the difference was 0.3% ± 4.3% for SoesO(2) vs. SartO(2) and 6.8% ± 5.6% for SpulseO(2) vs. SartO(2) (P < 0.001). The 95% confidence interval for the absolute difference between SoesO(2) and SartO(2) was 0.3% to 0.7% and 6.2% to 7.4% between SpulseO(2) and SartO(2). The time to reach 90% saturation measured with SoesO(2) was approximately 94 seconds earlier than the SpulseO(2) (P < 0.001). In conclusion, SoesO(2) is more accurate and enables earlier detection of hypoxemia when compared to conventional pulse oximetry during hypoxemia for patients undergoing general anesthesia.